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Ban and £300 fine for nurse caught drink driving after ‘lift fell through’

'It is a shame to see someone like you before the court. Because of your record I am going to keep this to the minimum'

Drink-driving Armagh courthouse

A Co Armagh nurse who was caught drink driving after her “lift fell through” has been disqualified for 12 months.

The district judge told the 32-year-old: “It is a shame to see someone like you before the court. Because of your record I am going to keep this to the minimum.”

Cathy Murray, of Carrickasticken Road, Forkhill pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on May 22, at 2.50am, police received a report from a member of the public of a vehicle being driven erratically on the Markethill Road, Armagh.

A short time later officers stopped the car in question, a red Volkswagen Golf, on the Keady Road.

They spoke to the driver, later identified as the defendant. Upon doing so officers noted a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and an open beer can in the driver’s seat pocket.

Murray submitted to a preliminary breath test which resulted in a fail.

Later, whilst in custody, a reading of 88mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath was obtained.

Defence solicitor Siun Downey stated: “Ms Murray is a nurse who carries out agency work. She knows the outcome of today is inevitable and it will have an effect on her employment.

“She had been having a few drinks, she had not planned on going to a friend’s house and after an arranged lift fell through she stupidly made the decision to drive.”

She continued: “Ms Murray thought herself okay to drive on that night but that simply was not the case.”

District Judge Peter Magill said: “This was a plea at the first opportunity. It may be said that you had little choice but a plea will always get credit from me.

“It is a shame to see someone like you before the court. Because of your record I am going to keep this to the minimum.”

Murray was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

She was certified for the drink driving course which would see her ban reduced to one of nine months if completed.

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