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South Armagh man over twice the limit in layby with box of beer ‘had gone to clear his head’

Defence said her client 'had gone away to clear his head and he intended to sleep in the car'

A Belleeks man who was found to be over the limit in a layby with a “box of beer” in the passenger footwell has been handed 10 penalty points.

The 32-year-old’s solicitor stated that her client “had gone away to clear his head and he intended to sleep in the car”.

Ciaran White, of Tate Road, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to being in charge with excess alcohol at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on March 7, police observed a Seat Leon in a layby on Main Street in Belleeks.

The ignition was on, with defendant in the driver seat and a “box of beer” spotted in the passenger side footwell.

Upon speaking to White, officers noted that his speech was slurred, he smelled of intoxicating liquor and his eyes were glazed.

A preliminary breath test was carried out resulting in a fail, with a subsequent evidential sample obtained at Lurgan Custody Suite giving a reading of 73mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Colleen McCreesh commented that the outline of the facts were “fair”, with her submitting “his intention was to stay put”.

She stated: “He had gone away to clear his head and he intended to sleep in the car.”

Ms McCreesh added: “He has a clear record, a clean licence with no previous motoring offence and he is unlikely to appear before the court again.”

Noting his plea of guilty at a “very early stage”, Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall handed the defendant 10 penalty points and ordered that he pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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