Court hears man lost his job as a result of drink driving offence in Ballymena

Ballymena Court

A MAN who has admitted driving with excess alcohol in his breath in Ballymena has been banned from the road for a year and fined £300.

Carl Ritchie (34), of Abbeyview, Muckamore, Antrim, came to police attention in the Thomas Street area of Ballymena on January 25 this year.

When they stopped him and spoke to him in the Cushendall Road area officers reported a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and his speech was slurred.

The defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 61 – the legal limit is 35.

A defence lawyer told Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday that because of the defendant’s “stupidity” he had lost his job.

The lawyer said after having a lack of sleep and no food the defendant had gone to a bar.

After then getting sleep he was going out for a meal that evening.

He thought he was ok to drive and was “somewhat shocked” at the reading and was “gutted” at losing his job.

District Judge Nigel Broderick noted the job loss and added: “It is a sad tale” and said the defendant had “paid a heavy price”.

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