Woman ‘mortified’ to be in court for the first time at age of 58

Coleraine Courthouse3

A Ballymoney woman caught driving with excess alcohol in her breath was “mortified” to be in court for the first time in her life at the age of 58, defence barrister Francis Rafferty said.

Stephanie McMullan, of Lislagan Road, had the offence detected at Dunluce Road in Portrush on September 15 this year.

A prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court on October 8 that police were behind a vehicle at Ballybogey Road which they saw swerving over the line and at one stage wheels mounted a grass verge.

They signalled for the vehicle to stop but it did not do so until Dunluce Road.

The defendant had an alcohol/breath reading of 72, with the legal limit being 35.

Mr Rafferty said the defendant was “mortified” that at the age of 58 she was standing in the dock of her local court.

He said the incident was “entirely out of character” and happened after the defendant had undergone a medical procedure the previous day and was under medication for that.

Combined with alcohol, it “seems to have clouded her judgment”, he said.
Added the lawyer: “She grievously regrets making this terrible mistake on the day in question”.

District Judge Peter King said he suspected it would be the first and last time the defendant would be in court.

He said a reference handed to the court indicated a number of significant difficulties the defendant would face by being banned from driving.

He said she had been slightly over twice the legal limit as he disqualified her from driving for 14 months and fined her £250.

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