Man took part in Portstewart car cruise and when he ‘went to vehicle to get cigarettes’ police smelt drink

Coleraine Court

A man who had taken part in the car cruise event in Portstewart on Easter Sunday this year claimed he had arranged a lift home and only returned to his Audi to get cigarettes when police smelt alcohol from him.

Christopher O’Neill (22), of Millview Gardens, Garvagh, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday August 13 and pleaded guilty to a charge of being in charge, with excess alcohol, of a vehicle at Portstewart Promenade.

A defence lawyer said it was Easter Sunday and every year there is the Jon44 cruise, “an event where you take your vehicle, a particularly nice one, and drive along the Promenade”.

The lawyer said his client then parked his car outside a bar and arranged a lift home and after exiting the pub went to his car to get cigarettes from a side pocket in a door and when he activated the alarm ‘coming home lights’ came on in the vehicle.

Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers said she would take “an exceptional course” in the case as she banned the defendant from driving for a month and fined him £150.

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