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Man caught drinking in his car with ignition on escapes driving ban

He told the court he had to turn on the car to charge his phone

Drink driving Craigavon Court

A man who was caught over the legal drink drive limit in a parked car with the ignition on has escaped a disqualification.

The 27-year-old told the court that he had been drinking in the vehicle after having an argument with his partner and turned the car on to charge his phone.

Karolis Barauskas, of Carnreagh, Craigavon pleaded guilty to being in charge with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on February 20, police received a report of a suspicious vehicle parked in the Carnreagh area of Craigavon between 1.30pm and 7.40pm.

Officers arrived and approached the Vauxhall Zafira which was still parked up.

They found a male in the driver seat, the ignition to the vehicle on and the bonnet hot to the touch.

Police spoke to the defendant and noted that his breath smelled of intoxicating liquor.

Barauskas was arrested and cautioned; when breathalysed he gave a reading of 64mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The defendant, who represented himself in court, stated: “I wasn’t driving the car, it was parked. I didn’t plan to drive before the police came. I was getting ready to go home.”

Barauskas explained: “I had an argument with my partner. I left home and was sitting in my car drinking.

“I had to turn on the car to charge my phone.”

The defendant was handed 10 penalty points and ordered to pay a fine of £150, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

Deputy District Judge John Rea told Barauskas: “You are not being disqualified but If you commit any further driving offence you will lose your licence.”

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