Had been having a Christmas drink

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When he took his father’s car to drive the short distance home after he had been drinking a 41-year-old man was caught by police.

Thomas John Fagan, Frazer Park, Annaclone, Banbridge, was banned from driving for five years last Thursday at Banbridge magistrates’ court sitting in Newry.

He was also fined £200, and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy, for driving with excess alcohol on December 29 last year.

For not having insurance he was fined £200 and banned for five years while he was fined £25 for not having a licence.

He was also given a conditional discharge for 12 months for taking a vehicle without the consent of the owner.

The court heard that at 4.45am as they were setting up a checkpoint on the Grovehill Road, Loughbrickland, police saw a vehicle come up to a junction before turning the corner and then driving off.

Police stopped the defendant who initially gave incorrect details to them.

He failed a preliminary breath test and an evidential test gave a reading of 55.

He had not been given permission to drive the car and said he had taken a chance.

A solicitor representing Fagan said it was Christmas time and he had been down at his father’s house.

He explained that the defendant’s father had gone to visit relatives and Fagan had been drinking.

The solicitor added the keys were in the house and the defendant took the car to go the short distance to his home.

District Judge Eamonn King said there were a number of drink driving offences on the defendant’s record within the ten year period.