A Maghery man who was found to be over twice the legal limit after McDonald’s drive-thru staff suspected him of being intoxicated has been handed a three year disqualification.
The 50-year-old’s solicitor told court that her client was “deeply apologetic and embarrassed by this incident”.
James McAlinden, of Maghery Road, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to a single count of driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Defence solicitor Colleen McCreesh asked for the matter to be dealt with in the absence of her client, who was currently a resident at the Cuan Mhuire rehabilitation centre in Newry.
Prosecution outlined that on June 19, police received a report of a suspected drink driver at McDonald’s in Lurgan.
Staff had served the driver of a Volvo which had gone through the drive-thru at the premises and suspected him of being under the influence.
Officers arrived to find the same car parked in a bay with a single occupant, who was identified as the defendant.
A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail, with a subsequent evidential sample obtained in custody giving a reading of 78mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.
Ms McCreesh stated: “He does have a relevant record. He has been suffering with addiction issues for some time but he instructs this escalated after he was put on furlough.
“He is now seeking help, which can be seen in him checking himself into that rehabilitation program…. he is deeply apologetic and embarrassed by this incident.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly disqualified McAlinden from driving for a period of three years and ordered that he pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.