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Judge amazed at young woman caught drink driving in Armagh on Christmas Eve

Armagh Magistrates' Court

A Middletown woman who was caught drink driving on Christmas Eve has been handed a 14-month disqualification.

A judge told the 21-year-old it “consistently amazes me how drivers ignore the seasonal warnings”.

Patrice Mackle, of Monaghan Road, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

It was heard that on December 24, at around 2.20am, police observed a BMW driving on the Friary Road, Armagh, the car swerved as it broke white lines.

Officers stopped the defendant noting a strong smell of alcohol and that her eyes were glazed.

A preliminary breath test was conducted and resulted in a fail.

Mackle was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite where an evidential sample showed that she had 63mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence barrister Patrick Taggart stated: “This is a very, very sad situation, Ms Mackle is 21 and owns her own beautician business in the city.

“On that night she behaved stupidly, she had gone out to pickup up her sister after consuming alcohol.”

He asked that the defendant was given credit for her early plea and previous good character.

Deputy District Judge Peter King stated: “You are the second defendant this morning who has been detected by the police over the Christmas period.

“If there is ever a time to get caught drink driving it is Christmas Eve, it consistently amazes me how drivers ignore the seasonal warnings”.

Mackle was disqualified from driving for 14 months and ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

She was certified for the drink driving course which would see this ban reduced by one quarter if completed.

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