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Uninsured teen caught over twice the limit in morning after detection

Her defence said: 'This was a bad mistake which will affect her greatly but she had held her hands up at the first opportunity'

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An uninsured teenager who was caught over twice the legal limit in her mother’s car in a morning after detection has been banned from driving for a year.

Sentencing the 19-year-old, the district judge commented: “I am a bit concerned that the alcohol reading was 94mg, given that this was a morning after case.”

Erin Hand, of Carquillan, had pleas of guilty entered to using a vehicle without insurance, being an unaccompanied L driver, driving with excess alcohol and aggravated vehicle taking causing damage at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on April 10, at 8.50am, police received a report of a two vehicle collision on the Rathriland Road, Hilltown, in which one driver was suspected of being intoxicated.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to this defendant, who was identified as the driver in question, and a preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.

It was later established that Hand was not the owner of the vehicle and she was the holder of a provisional licence only.

Whilst in custody, an evidential sample of breath was obtained which gave a reading of 94mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

Defence counsel stated it was “very fortunate” that no one was injured during this incident and that his client took the matter “very seriously”.

He outlined: “She had been drinking at her home the night before. She woke up early the next morning and was contacted to pick up another friend.

“This was a bad mistake which will affect her greatly but she had held her hands up at the first opportunity.”

District Judge Eamonn King stated: “I am a bit concerned that the alcohol reading was 94mg, given that this was a morning after case.”

Hand was disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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