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Drink driver had argument with boyfriend then took his mum’s car, crashed it and fled scene

She was almost three times the legal limit, court told

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A Portadown woman who drove her boyfriend’s mother’s car after an argument whilst almost three times the legal drink-drive limit has been disqualified for 12 months.

The district judge told the 20-year-old: “It amazes me how many young people think it’s okay to drink drive. In my day you lost friends if you went out with a set of car keys on your person.”

Sophie Simpson, of Corcrain Drive, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, aggravated taking and causing damage to a vehicle and using a vehicle without insurance at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard that on May 30, at around 9pm, police received a report of a one-vehicle collision on the Birches Roundabout in Portadown.

A witness claimed they had seen a female leaving the scene of the accident.

Upon arrival, officers observed a Mazda 3 with damage to the front right and rear tyres.

They attended the last registered owner’s address. Whilst speaking to the female owner they spotted the defendant who matched the description of the person seen leaving the scene of the accident.

A preliminary breath test was carried out on Simpson resulting in a fail.

The owner of the car stated that they had not given the defendant permission to drive it.

Simpson was subsequently arrested and whilst in custody a reading of 102mg alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.

Defence barrister David McKeown stated: “She had not passed her test long. She had been at a friend’s house drinking next door to her boyfriend’s home.

“She then had an argument with her boyfriend, after being unable to get a taxi she took her boyfriend’s mother’s car. This is very out of character.”

He added: “She had been working for Charles Hurst at the time but has since been dismissed.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “I don’t understand how people can drink drive. I don’t know how much drink you would have taken to get a reading of 102mg.

“It amazes me how many young people think it’s okay to drink drive. In my day you lost friends if you went out with a set of car keys on your person.”

Simpson was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £700, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.

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