Restaurant manager caught drink driving said she had seven gins

ColeraineCourt9 - Edited

A part-time restaurant manager who admitted having seven gins before being caught drink driving claimed she was only moving her vehicle a short distance to prevent it from blocking traffic.

Sarah Hegarty (43), of St Patrick’s Terrace in Ballymena, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on December 20 and admitted driving with excess alcohol in her breath in the Hill Street area of the town on November 24 this year.

She had an alcohol in breath reading of 87 with the legal limit being 35.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said the defendant had only moved her vehicle 25 yards.

References were handed in to the court.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said with such an alcohol reading he would normally disqualify a driver for 16 months but after reflecting on the references he said it was clear the defendant provided a very helpful service to two children with disabilities.

The judge said he was banning Hegarty for a year along with a £300 fine as the loss of the defendant’s licence would also impact on the daily lives of the children.

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