Motorist was standing in the road

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

A fine of £100 and a one-year driving ban were imposed at Londonderry Magistrates Court on a motorist charged with driving with excess alcohol on his breath.

Nathan John Cassidy, 21, of 16 Cliftonville Avenue, committed the offence on March 12 this year at Crescent Link.

Prosecuting Counsel said police on duty were alerted to a man standing in the middle of the road beside a vehicle, waving his arms and attempting to stop traffic. When spoken to he appeared intoxicated, his eyes were glazed and he smelled strongly of alcohol. Counsel said the defendant told police “I only had one pint”. He confirmed that he had driven in order to drop friends off, but his car broke down, before sitting down and opening a can of Fosters. He was ordered not to drink it as he had to undergo a breath test, which gave a reading of 85 microgrammes.

A defence solicitor urged District Judge, Barney McElholm, to give her client maximum credit for his plea. She said he had been pulled off the road by the police after he had been drinking at his house and foolishly got into his car to drive to a friend’s house.

She said the incident put Cassidy’s licence in jeopardy, adding that he had only obtained his driving licence in August 2013. She said her client was in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance and had no record except for a previous speeding charge.

Imposing the fine and ban, District Judge McElholm imposed a Court Levy of £15 and told Cassidy he could reduce that to a nine-month ban if he was accepted onto the Drink Drivers Court, paid the £155 levy and properly completed the course.