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Court told Tandragee drink driver was on his way to help his ex-wife when caught

Defendant had been drinking the night before with his mother visiting from Latvia

A Tandragee man claimed he was on his way to help his ex-wife when he was caught drink driving.

Court heard the 48-year-old had been contacted by his ex who claimed her new partner was assaulting her.

Guntis Jonuss, of Mill Street, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard the defendant was stopped by police on the Tandragee Road, Lurgan, on September 15, at around 9.30am, driving a Nissan Almera.

Officers noted a strong smell of alcohol and Jonuss submitted to a preliminary breath test which he failed.

He was subsequently taken to Banbridge Custody Suite where an evidential sample of 56mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid told court the defendant, who is originally from Latvia, has lived in Northern Ireland for 13 years.

He is a lorry driver and single father to two young children, court told.

The night before the offence, Mr Reid explained, Jonuss’ mother had arrived from Latvia for a visit and they had been drinking.

He said the next morning the defendant was phoned by his ex-wife who claimed her new partner was assaulting her.

Mr Reid said Jonuss then made the “foolish” decision to go and check up on her.

The defendant was handed a 12-month driving ban but was certified for the drink driving course which could see his disqualification reduced to nine months.

In addition, Jonuss was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.

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