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Woman over four times drink drive limit caught after neighbour’s 999 call to police

The neighbour followed her car and observed it parked half on the kerb at an angle near an off-licence, watching as the defendant stumbled back to her vehicle and pulled out without looking

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A Banbridge woman who was found to be over four times the legal limit after driving has been handed a three year disqualification.

Court heard that the 42-year-old had one relevant entry on her record dating back to 2017.

Roisin Hamilton, of Limewood, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and resisting police at Banbridge Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Thursday.

Prosecution outlined that on October 9, at 5.50pm, a neighbour of the defendant contacted police after observing her attempting several times to enter the driver’s side of her car.

Hamilton was seen rummaging in her bag for her keys and according to the reporting person appeared “visibly intoxicated”.

Another neighbour pulled up in their vehicle nearby and this appeared to startle the defendant, who went back into her property.

Just 10 minutes later, Hamilton was observed again attempting to gain access to her car with no luck.

At around 6.45pm, the defendant was seen reversing her car out of her driveway and making off in the direction of Scarva Road.

The reporting person called 999 and followed Hamilton’s vehicle. She observed the car parked half on the kerb at an angle near the Bin 66 off-licence.

Whilst parked a short distance away, the neighbour watched as the defendant stumbled back to her car and pulled out without looking onto Scarva Street.

Police attended her home at 7pm. The car was parked outside and officers instructed Hamilton to open the door whilst speaking to her through a window but she refused.

After gaining entry to the property, the defendant was located in an upstairs bedroom. It was noted that her speech was slurred and her eyes glazed.

Hamilton refused to co-operate with police and force had to be used in order to remove her from the house with handcuffs applied.

Whilst at Banbridge Custody Suite, an evidential sample of breath was obtained giving a reading of 141mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over four times the legal limit.

Defence counsel stated: “She is trying to get on top of her difficulties, but as with the previous offence in 2017 and this offence, sometimes they get the better of her and she ends up in difficulties as a result.

District Judge Eamon King said: “She recognises that she has a problem and she’s taking steps to address that. The court wishes her every success and not for this she wouldn’t be before the court.

“As I say every day is a battle but you have to start it on day one.”

Hamilton was disqualified from driving for a period of three years and was ordered to pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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