A Newry woman who drove with two children in the rear of her car whilst over twice the legal limit has been handed a 12 month disqualification.
The 46-year-old’s legal representative stated that the defendant now realised she had a “problem with alcohol” which she was trying to remedy.
Sinead Campbell, of Fairfield Heights, had a plea of guilty entered on her behalf to driving with excess alcohol at the city’s Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecution outlined that on June 22, at 4.50pm, police received a report of a suspected drink driver in Warrenpoint.
Upon arrival, officers located the car in question parked on Church Street with the ignition on.
This defendant was sitting in the driver’s seat with two children in the back. Police noted that she smelled of intoxicating liquor and her speech was slurred.
An independent witness claimed to have seen Campbell driving a short time before and a preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.
A subsequent evidential sample obtained in custody gave a reading of 79mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.
Defence council stated: “Ms Campbell has entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity and was fully co-operative with police….it is accepted that she does have a relevant conviction from some 11 years ago.”
He commented this was during a “difficult period” for his client, with both her parents being in hospital at this time and one of her children being “diagnosed with a medical condition”.
The legal representative stated that Campbell now realised she had a “problem with alcohol” which she was trying to remedy, adding that the loss of her licence would have an impact on her children.
District Judge Eamon King said: “The biggest thing said on her behalf is that she has now taken steps to address her issues. She has one previous from back in 2007, which was of a similar ilk, which suggests this is something which has been going on for some time.”
He added: “The court is also concerned that there were two young children in the car at the time.”
Campbell was disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15.