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Portadown woman caught driving over twice legal limit after row with boyfriend

Defence described it as an 'error of judgement' and asked the district judge to treat it as s a 'one off'

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A Portadown woman who drove whilst over twice the legal limit after an argument with her boyfriend has been handed a 12 month disqualification.

The 27-year-old’s barrister told court: “This was an error of judgement and I would ask that your worship treat this as a one off.”

Chantal Hughes, of Charlestown Road, had a plea of guilty entered on her behalf to driving with excess alcohol at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 1, at around 4.30am, police on patrol in Warrenpoint observed a Vauxhall swerving between the hard shoulder and lane one of the dual carriageway.

Officers stopped the car on the Newry Road, Warrenpoint, and the driver, who was identified as this defendant, smelled of intoxicated liquor and was speaking with slurred speech.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail, with a subsequent evidential sample obtained in custody giving a reading of 92mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

Defence barrister Ciara Ennis outlined that her client, a single mother-of-two in full-time employment, appeared before the court with “no previous convictions and no previous penalty points”.

She stated: “She had been staying at her boyfriend’s home. They had an argument and she decided to leave and go to her mother’s house, where her children were.

“This was an error of judgement and I would ask that your worship treat this as a one off.”

District Judge Eamonn King disqualified Hughes from driving for the minimum of 12 months and ordered that she pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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