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Haulage company owner banned from roads for driving tractor after ‘a few pints’

Defence said: 'He owns a haulage company and disqualification is going to have an impact'

Police farm tractor

A Co Down man who decided to drive a tractor after ‘a few pints’ has been disqualified from driving for 12 months.

The 32-year-old’s barrister told Newry Magistrates’ Court the defendant owned a haulage company and the loss of his licence would have an effect on this.

Richard Skillen, of Brackenagh West Road in Ballymartin, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 19, police received a report from a member of the public of a tractor being driven erratically on the Newcastle Road, Kilkeel.

Officers stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver, who identified himself as the defendant.

It was noted that Skillen appeared unsteady on his feet and that his eyes were glazed.

A preliminary breath test was conducted which resulted in a fail.

Whilst in custody, an evidential sample was taken which gave a reading of 53 mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence barrister Conor Byrne stated: “This was a plea at the first opportunity. He had consumed a few pints and thought that he was in fit to drive.

“He had met with someone regarding work progress. He owns a haulage company and disqualification is going to have an impact.”

Skillen was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months if completed.

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