Drink driver was detected at early morning police checkpoint

Coleraine Court

A man has been banned from the road for a year and fined £300 for what District Judge Paul Copeland described as an “irresponsible and ill-judged” decision to get behind the wheel with excess alcohol.

Steven John Bellingham (31), of Millbank Gardens in Killyrammer near Ballymoney, had the offence detected when he was at the wheel of a van at Queen Street, Ballymoney.

The detection was made at a police vehicle checkpoint at 1.45am on Saturday June 2 this year.

Officers could smell intoxicating liquor and the defendant had a reading of 82 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35mcgs.

Defence solicitor Denise Gillan handed in a letter to the court from the defendant’s employer.

She said her client was a driver for a living.

The lawyer said the defendant had only gone out with the intention of having one drink “but unfortunately he fell in to company and stayed longer than he should have”.

She added that the loss of the licence not only meant her client had “lost his livelihood” but he lived in a rural area and could not rely on public transport.

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