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Keady man caught over twice the limit after night out in Belfast handed 14 month ban

Police received a report of a Volkswagen swerving on Bridge Street in Portadown before entering the Asda car park

Court drink driving Craigavon

A Keady man who was found to be driving whilst over twice the legal limit on his way home from a night out in Belfast has been handed a 14 month disqualification.

The 20-year-old’s barrister told court that his client had learned a “salutary lesson” and that the inevitable disqualification would have an impact on his employment.

Reece Butter, of Derrynoose Road, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

Prosecution outlined that on February 7, at 2.25pm, police received a report of a Volkswagen swerving on Bridge Street, Portadown, before entering the Asda car park.

Officers spoke to the driver, who identified himself as the defendant. It was observed that his eyes were glazed and his speech was slurred.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail. A subsequent evidential sample obtained in custody gave a reading of 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

Defence solicitor Oisin Toner stated: “This is a 20-year-old, who lives at home with his parents. He has an impeccable record and he has never been in trouble for anything before.

“He was on his way home from a night out in Belfast. He thought he was OK to drive but he still had alcohol in his system.”

He added that Butter had learned a “salutary lesson” and that the inevitable disqualification would have an impact on his employment.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes commented that his “difficulty” with the case, despite the defendant not facing related charges, was that he came to the attention of police due to the nature of his driving.

Butter was disqualified from driving for a period of 14 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced by one quarter upon completion.

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