Ballymena Court hears woman went to house-warming party to beat her ‘agoraphobia’ and was then detected drink driving

Ballymena Court

AN over-the-limit motorist caught at a police checkpoint at 6am said she thought she was ok to drive after stopping drinking at midnight at a friend’s house-warming party where she had gone to see if she could beat ‘agoraphobia’.

Eleanor Stewart (56), of Brustin Brae Road outside Larne, was spoken to by police at the nearby Old Glenarm Road on December 7, 2019.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday she pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in her breath.

The legal alcohol limit for drivers is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath and the defendant had a reading of 40.

A defence solicitor said the defendant had a previously clear record.

He said the defendant had gone to the house-warming to see how she would cope with agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is defined as fear of ‘entering open or crowded places, of leaving one’s own home, or of being in places from which escape is difficult’.

The defendant was in court and was banned from driving for a year and fined £200.

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