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Woman escapes three-year ban after second drink-related driving offence

Defence said his client advised 'that she will not be back on the roads'

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A Lurgan woman has escaped a three-year driving ban for her second alcohol-related driving offence.

Court heard that as the 56-year-old’s previous conviction was one for being in charge the minimum penalty for two offences within a 10-year period did not apply.

Sheila McCallum, of Willowtree Manor, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on March 26, shortly before 6pm, police received a report of a suspected drink driver leaving Tesco in Lurgan.

Officers attended at the home of the last registered owner of the vehicle and found the car parked in the driveway of the property.

They spoke to the defendant at the house and noted a strong smell of intoxicating liquor.

McCallum admitted to police that she had been driving the vehicle.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.

Whilst in Lurgan Custody Suite, a second breath test gave a reading of 60mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence counsel stated: “She has attended court with her husband and wishes to convey her apologies.”

It was heard that the defendant had one previous conviction for excess alcohol whilst in charge of a vehicle.

District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “Given the chronology of her previous, I may have to give her a minimum of three years disqualification.”

Defence counsel stated: “Ms McCallum has advised that she will not be back on the roads.

“There are issues in the background, she has been given a referral and the vehicle she was driving was a mobility car which was on lease.”

Upon being told that the in-charge offence would not mean a minimum ban of three years being applied, District Judge Kelly passed sentence.

McCallum was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £350, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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