Motorist pulls out almost colliding with police in Ballymena and then officers smell cannabis from car

A MOTORIST pulled out and almost collided with a police patrol at Thomas Street in Ballymena and it emerged he had been unfit to drive.

The incident happened on December 1 last year, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told.

Gabriel Orhean (28), a factory worker of Thomas Street, pleaded guilty to charges of driving whilst unfit and possessing cannabis.

A prosecutor said the defendant admitted having consumed alcohol and failed a preliminary breath test.

When police detected a “very strong smell” of cannabis coming from the vehicle the defendant admitted having cannabis at his home.

Police accompanied him to the address, a few metres away, where two buds of herbal cannabis were in a container.

When taken to Antrim Police Station an evidential reading for alcohol was 27 which was below the legal drink limit of 35 but “THCs” – a component of cannabis – were in the defendant’s blood.

Defence solicitor Emma McCann said the defendant, who she said is a Romanian who lives here with his wife; had “one drink – one whiskey with a friend”.

She said the defendant accepted he had cannabis “much earlier in the day” and the offences had happened in the early hours just outside his home when he thought he was OK to drive.

The defendant was banned from driving for a year and fined £325.

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