A man caught driving at just under three times the legal limit in Tandragee had his two children in the car, a court has heard.
The 52-year-old was charged before the court with driving with excess alcohol in breath.
The prosecution outlined that on December 10, 2022, police received a report of a Mercedes being driven in an erratic manner in the Craigavon area. At 5:30pm, police patrolling on Mill Street in Tandragee observed the Mercedes being driven by the defendant.
The vehicle came to a stop at the side of the road and police approached to speak with the defendant. Police detected the smell of alcohol and noted that the defendant’s children were also present in the vehicle.
A preliminary breath sample was taken which resulted in a fail. The defendant was then arrested and taken to Banbridge custody.
An evidential breath sample was taken which returned a result of 102 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – The legal limit in Northern Ireland is 35 microgrammes of alcohol.
A defence solicitor told the court that his client, who is Latvian and has lived in Northern Ireland for 17 years, has a limited record, but conceded that there was a relevant conviction.
The court heard that the defendant was working initially as a lorry driver, but lost that employment because of a previous disqualification.
The defence added that “one comfort” for the court was that the defendant would be off the road for a “considerable period of time”.
District Judge Anne Marshall fined the defendant £500 and disqualified him from driving for a period of three years, giving him 26 weeks to pay the fine.
“If he’s back again for drink driving, it will be a pre-sentence report and all options will be open,” District Judge Marshall warned.