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Barman who went for drinks with colleagues after his shift was driving home after failing to get taxi

Defence said: 'He tried to get a taxi home but when he couldn't do so took the opportunity to drive'

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A Portadown barman who took a risk driving home after post work drinks has been handed a 16 month disqualification.

The 24-year-old’s solicitor told court that the defendant made the choice to drive home after failed attempts to order a taxi.

Dillon McKee, of Bocombra Manor, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on November 29, at 1.50am, police observed a Vauxhall Astra on the Old Lurgan Road, Portadown, which was being driven erratically and crossing the central line on the road.

Officers stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver, who identified himself as the defendant.

It was noted that McKee smelled of intoxicating liquor, his eyes were glazed and his speech was slurred.

A preliminary breath test was carried out resulting in a fail and the defendant was subsequently arrested.

Whilst at Lurgan Custody Suite, an evidential sample of breath was taken which gave a reading of 89mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid stated: “This man resides in Portadown with his partner. He is a bar staff member and had been working that day.

“Following his shift he had gone out drinking with work colleagues. He tried to get a taxi home but when he couldn’t do so took the opportunity to drive.”

District Judge Gregg McCourt commented: “You were foolish driving on this occasion but you are due credit for your guilty plea.”

McKee was disqualified from driving for 16 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.

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