A man who was found sitting in his car at almost five times the legal limit has been fined £425 and disqualified for six months.
Nerijus Grigelevicius, 35, of Westland Road, Portadown, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, with the assistance of an interpreter, charged with being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol in breath. There was also a second charge of excess speed on a separate occasion.
The court heard that on May 15, at around 11.20pm, police discovered the defendant sitting in the driver’s seat of a car in Portadown listening to music.
A preliminary breath test was failed and the defendant was arrested and taken to Lurgan police station. The breath reading was 163mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
The defendant claimed that he had not been driving the car, but was merely sitting in it.
The second charge relates to an incident which occurred on January 9, when the defendant was detected driving on the Armagh Road in Portadown at 41mph in a 30mph zone. A fixed penalty was offered but this was not taken up in time.
District Judge Bernie Kelly noted that the reading was “slightly shy” of being five times the drink-driving limit.
Grigelevicius’s defence solicitor commented that the car was parked outside his house. He said that his client is a smoker and had been drinking in the house and consumed a huge amount of alcohol. He had then come out to have a smoke and had sat in the car.
The court was told that he has lived here about six or seven years and does work in a factory. This is his first “brush with the law” and he has no previous convictions, defence added.
Judge Kelly said: “It is an exceptionally high reading. The biggest part of that reading that he should concern himself with is the fact that he could have killed himself. However, I’m accepting of the facts that this wasn’t a situation where he had driven, say to a public house.”
For the speeding offence, Judge Kelly fined Grigelevicius £75, and also imposed three penalty points.
For the excess alcohol charge, a fine of £350 was imposed, along with a further ten penalty points, meaning that the defendant was disqualified from driving for six months.
The fines totalled £425 and he was given 16 weeks to pay.