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Drink driver found asleep in car with bottle of wine told police two or three glasses is nothing

She said she had been picking her 11-year-old daughter up from school at 3pm and admitted starting to drink at 9.30am

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A Portadown woman who was caught drink driving told police during interview that two or three glasses of wine was nothing, a court has heard.

It was revealed the 39-year-old was found asleep in her car with a three quarters full bottle of wine in the passenger footwell of the vehicle.

Neringa Bubuliene, of Timakeel Lodge, pleaded guilty to driving when unfit and failing to provide a specimen of breath at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on January 7, at 3.20pm, police received reports of a Volkswagen Passat being driven dangerously on the Moy Road, Portadown.

At 4pm, officers located a car matching this description parked on a driveway on Timakeel Lodge, Portadown.

Inside the vehicle, police found the defendant sleeping and after speaking to her it was clear that she was intoxicated.

Officers noted Bubuliene’s eyes were glazed and her speech slurred. She was crying and shouted at the police to go away.

The defendant was asked to step out of the car and appeared barely able to keep her balance. A three quarters full bottle of wine was observed in the passenger footwell.

At 4.10pm, a preliminary breath test was conducted with Bubuliene failing to give a full sample on both occasions and whilst in custody she once more failed to provide a specimen.

During interview, the defendant said she had been picking her 11-year-old daughter up from school at 3pm. She admitted to starting to drink at 9.30am.

Bubuliene told police that two or three glasses of wine was nothing, adding that she had food and water afterwards.

Defence solicitor Suin Downey stated: “This is a woman living just outside Portadown. Although she made those comments to police in interview, she now realises this was wrong.

“She had been drinking on the Sunday night and that carried on into the morning. She is aware of the inevitable outcome of today.”

District Judge Amanda Brady told the defendant: “You can’t expect to get the minimum. You refused to give a sample of breath so the fact is I don’t know how drunk you were.”

Bubuliene was disqualified from driving for 18 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see her ban reduced by one quarter upon completion.

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