A MAN more than three times the drink drive limit whilst in charge of a car at Carnfunnock Country Park on the Antrim Coast Road claimed he was in the area looking for a dog.
Tony McIlgorm (58), of Ronald Street in nearby Larne, had gone back to the car and started drinking from a bottle of Brandy which had been in the boot since Christmas, it was claimed.
At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday the defendant pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol in his breath.
A prosecutor said police on mobile patrol encountered the defendant at 10.40pm on February 2 this year.
He was in the driver’s seat; there was a strong smell of liquor and he was slurring his words and his eyes were bloodshot and he admitted he had the keys on him.
The defendant gave a reading of 113 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35mcgs.
A defence solicitor said earlier that day the defendant’s wife had been walking a dog when it ran away and after she returned home distressed the defendant had gone to Carnfunnock to look for it.
After his efforts were unsuccessful he waited in the car hoping the dog might return to it and then discovered the Brandy.
The lawyer said a post had gone out on Facebook and thankfully the dog was found the following day.
The defendant was given ten penalty points and a £400 fine by District Judge Nigel Broderick who said it was “very foolish” to drink in a car.
“Vehicles and alcohol are a poor mix,” he said.