A JUDGE told a former school head boy who was found to be over the limit following a six mile pursuit from a young farmers’ club BBQ he hoped he had learned his lesson as drink driving could have fatal consequences.
District Judge Nigel Broderick was speaking to Caolan McCurry (21), of Anticur Road near Dunloy, at Ballymena Magistrates Court.
The defendant admitted charges of driving with excess alcohol in his breath and failing to stop and remain at the scene of a damage only accident on July 28 this year.
A prosecutor said police were made aware of a drink driver who had caused a minor collision whilst reversing.
The driver of the vehicle which was struck then followed the defendant for around six miles.
The defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 52 with the legal limit being 35.
Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said the defendant couldn’t get a life home from the Kilraughts Young Farmers’ Club BBQ and the joiner had to work the next morning.
He said the defendant had not had a lot to eat before drinking a few beers.
Mr Ballentine said the collision involved a towbar and there was minimal impact but with drink taken the defendant had panicked before he came to his senses and eventually stopped.
He wished to apologise for his actions.
The court heard the defendant was a former head boy at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Ballymoney.
A letter of reference was sent to the court from a GAA club.
Judge Broderick said the reference described the defendant as a “fine young man”.
He said the offence was said to be out of character and he hoped the defendant had learned a lesson as the consequences of driving with alcohol taken can be fatal.
The defendant was banned from driving for a year and fined £300.