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Man found over twice drink drive limit with cannabis in full view on passenger seat

Defence said his only saving grace was that it had happened 'in the middle of lockdown and there were less cars on the road'

A man who was found to be over twice the limit with a quantity of cannabis in full view of police on the passenger seat has been banned from driving for 16 months.

The 45-year-old’s solicitor told court the defendant had been “very much been the author of his own downfall”.

Nuno Sousa, of Corcrain Gardens in Portadown, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol and possession of Class B at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on April 4, police received a report of a drunken male causing a disturbance at Corcrain Gardens in Portadown.

They later received another report that the same male had been seen leaving the area in a grey Ford Focus.

Officers located the vehicle parked on the Armagh Road, Portadown, with the defendant in the driver seat.

The keys to the car were in the ignition and the engine was off.

After detecting a strong smell of intoxicating liquor, a preliminary breath test was conducted at the roadside resulting in a fail.

Police also observed a quantity of suspected cannabis on full view on the passenger seat and this was seized.

Sousa was subsequently taken to Lurgan Custody Suite, where an evidential sample of breath was obtained giving a reading of 97mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

During interview, the defendant made full admissions to both offences.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid stated: “This was a very high reading. His only saving grace is that, your worship will note, the date. This was in the middle of lockdown and there were less cars on the road.

“With the Class B, I am led to believe that this was a small amount and it was for personal use. He lives in Portadown and has two young children. He is the sole earner.”

He continued: “He is a man with a clear record and this is going to have an impact on his employment but he has very much been the author of his own downfall.”

District Judge Nigel Broderick commented: “I will give him credit for his clear record and plea of guilty.”

Sousa was disqualified from driving for 16 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 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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