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New driver caught over twice the limit after having ‘two or three pints of beer’ at family gathering

Defence said: 'He thought he was OK to drive but clearly not'

PSNI police drink driving

A Banbridge man, who had recently passed his test, decided to drive home from a family gathering after two or three pints.

Court heard that the 33-year-old was detected when stopped by police regarding an unrelated road traffic incident.

Stephen Greene, of Hawthorne Hill, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on December 12, at around 8.05pm, the defendant was stopped driving a Vauxhall Astra on North Street, Lurgan, in relation to a road traffic incident.

Upon speaking to Greene, officers detected a smell of intoxicating liquor and a preliminary breath test was subsequently carried out, resulting in a fail.

The defendant was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite, where an evidential sample of breath was obtained giving a reading of 76mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Conor Downey stated: “He only recently passed his test. He was at a family gathering and consumed two or three pints of beer.

“He thought he was OK to drive but clearly not. He did not pose any difficulties for the officers.”

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said: “This was a guilty plea at the first opportunity and for that he is entitled to maximum credit.”

Greene was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

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