Man who ‘couldn’t sleep because of worries about being unemployed’ was detected driving with excess alcohol

A MAN who claimed he had gone for a drive at midnight as he couldn’t sleep “because of worries” about being unemployed was detected with excess alcohol.

Michael McNeill (54), with an address listed as Grangeleigh Avenue Ballymena, came to police attention on July 16 this year.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police saw a vehicle failing to stay within white line markings at Raceview Road and followed it through Broughshane where they used blue lights and sirens to pull the driver in at Tullymore Road.

The defendant later provided an alcohol in breath reading of 55 at Antrim Police Station – the legal limit is 35.

A defence solicitor said the defendant had been driving for 37 years with no record.

The court heard the defendant had lost his job as a sales manager after lockdown.

In July the defendant was visiting his father and after taking drink the defendant had gone to bed but couldn’t sleep, according to the solicitor, “because of the worries of his unemployment”.

Instead of going for a walk, the lawyer said, the defendant had gone for a drive which he now deeply regrets.

The defendant was banned from driving for a year and fined £250.

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