POLICE saw a man driving the wrong way into a one-way street in Ballymena and then detected a strong smell of drink but the driver, who was also unsteady on his feet, failed to provide a sample.
Emil Idzi (25), of Queen Street in the town, was detected in the Waveney Road area on September 30 this year.
At Ballymena Magistrates Court on November 1 he pleaded guilty to failing to provide a sample for a preliminary test and being an unaccompanied learner driver without L plates displayed.
A charge of driving without due care and attention was withdrawn.
Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said the defendant, who is Polish, works for a joinery business in Rasharkin.
The lawyer said Idzi had been out with friends earlier in the evening and he “panicked” when police asked him for a sample because he thought he would lose his licence and his job.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the failure to provide a specimen of breath meant the court could not impose a minimum period of disqualification.
The defendant was banned from driving for 16 months and fined £450.