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‘Mid-lockdown’ drink driver who lost job due to pandemic made ‘foolish decision’ to drive home

'It is a double edged sword situation. This was in mid lockdown. He should not have been out at all but there would have been far fewer cars on the road'

Drink driving Craigavon Court

A man who was caught swerving on the road over the limit in the midst of lockdown has been handed a 12 month ban.

The 38-year-old’s solicitor told court: “It is a double edged sword situation. This was in mid lockdown. He should not have been out at all but there would have been far fewer cars on the road.”

David Klein, of Queens Walk in Lurgan, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that in the early hours of May 24, police on patrol of Portadown observed a car swerving within the confines of its own lane on the Tandragee Road.

Officers spoke to the driver, who was identified as the defendant, and they noted that he was showing symptoms of being under the influence.

A preliminary breath test at the roadside resulted in a fail and Klein was subsequently arrested at 1.12am.

Whilst at Lurgan Custody Suite, an evidential sample of breath was obtained which gave a reading of 54mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid informed the court that the defendant had a clean licence and that he had arrived in Northern Ireland from the Czech Republic in 2011.

He stated: “He had been in constant employment with Thompson’s but lost that due to the pandemic.”

Mr Reid told court: “He had been drinking with friends and made the foolish decision to drive home. It is a double edged sword situation. This was in mid lockdown. He should not have been out at all but there would have been far fewer cars on the road.”

District Judge Rosie Watters disqualified the defendant from driving for 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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