Over the limit motorist veered onto hard shoulder

A MAN who was caught more than twice over the legal drink-drive limit after being spotted driving on the hard shoulder has been banned from the road for 16 months and fined £300.

Keith McDowell, of Dunboe Gardens, Articlave, appeared before Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath for preliminary testing and driving with excess alcohol on November 5 last year.

The court heard how he had been detected after police received a report from a member of the public who had seen McDowell “all over the road” and also driving on the hard shoulder on the Frosses Road.

Police tried to intercept the vehicle which was eventually stopped at the Lodge Road roundabout in Coleraine.

When officers spoke to McDowell his eyes were glazed and he was disorientated and there was a smell of intoxicating liquor. He refused to provide a roadside sample and was arrested.

An evidential sample at Coleraine Police Station recorded a reading of 74 micrograms – more than double the limit of 35mgs.

In McDowell’s defence, the court heard that he had no previous record and was “highly thought of in the local community.”

He had been attending a family friend’s funeral and made “a stupid decision” to go to a local hotel before driving home.

After reading “glowing references,” District Judge Peter King certified McDowell for the drink-driving course.

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