POLICE investigating a hit-and-run damage only accident in Ballycastle in the lead up to the town’s famous Auld Lammas Fair found a woman hiding in bushes.
Marie Rodgers (34), of Fairhill Street in the town, had drink taken when her Audi A4 car was seen “all over the road” before she struck a vehicle at Quay Road in Ballycastle and then failed to stop.
The car was found parked up at Silverspring with damage to the front offside wing and wheel arch and a tyre had been punctured which had left behind a long white mark on the road.
A report then came in to police about a woman hiding in a back garden at nearby Atlantic Avenue and officers found the defendant hiding in bushes.
She had an alcohol in breath reading of 47 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35mcgs – and a subsequent blood/alcohol reading was also slightly over the limit.
The defendant said she had a few drinks at home but got worried about her teenage daughter who was out and she then had taken the car to try and find her and thought she was ok to drive.
Following the collision she said she moved the car because the streets were busy in the run up to this year’s Lammas Fair and she then “panicked” and walked off.
A defence solicitor said the defendant was “embarrassed and extremely tearful” about what happened.
The defendant admitted charges of driving with excess alcohol; absence of insurance and failing to remain and report an accident.
The solicitor said his client had insurance for another vehicle but had not transferred it to the new vehicle.
District Judge Peter King told Coleraine Magistrates Court the incidents were “regrettable” and said the alcohol reading would probably be the lowest he heard that day.
The defendant was banned from driving for a year and fined £450.