Off-duty police officer spotted over-the-limit motorist driving dangerously

The defendant had driven dangerously at Fenaghy Road.

A drink driver who almost caused a head-on collision and who swerved across the white line causing other motorists to take evasive action claimed he was on his way to a pharmacy to get painkillers.

Petr Kovacik (55), a cleaner, of Tobar Park in Cullybackey, admitted dangerous driving and being at the wheel of a Skoda Octavia with excess alcohol in his breath.

The Czech national also admitted being uninsured and not having a licence regarding March 30 this year.

The offences relate to Fenaghy Road at 4.30pm on the date in question.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police were informed by an off duty officer of a vehicle being driven erratically and a head-on collision had almost occurred.

The vehicle also swerved across the central line on a number of occasions causing oncoming drivers to take evasive action.

When stopped the defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 60 with the legal limit being 35.

The court heard the defendant had not re-sat his test following a previous disqualification.

The defendant told police he could not remember much about the journey and apologised.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said the defendant had lived in Northern Ireland for five years and had no convictions in the Czech Republic.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said what aggravated the case was the dangerous nature of the driving whilst under the influence and the defendant had a relevant record from 2016.

As a direct alternative to prison the judge ordered Kovacik to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

The defendant was also banned from the road for three and a half years and fined £100.

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