Had can of beer sitting above the handbrake

When police saw a man get out of the driver’s door of a car they found a number of cans of beer in the vehicle with a half full tin sitting just above the handbrake.

Leslie Paul Russell (34), Roes Green, Laurencetown, admitted a drunk-in-charge offence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for 12 months.

The court heard that at 2.45am at Clanrolla Park in Craigavon police saw a car which had wisps of smoke coming from the exhaust and the brake lights were going on intermittently.

They saw the defendant get out of the driver’s side door.

He was heavily intoxicated and smelled strongly of alcohol.

Russell denied he had been in the driver’s seat and claimed his wife had been driving. When asked where she was he said she had walked off.

There were a number of tins of Carlsberg in the car and a half full tin was sitting on the consol above the handbrake. The car keys were found in his pocket.

An evidential breath test on the defendant gave a reading of 92.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A barrister representing Russell said that he had stayed out of trouble for a number of years and there was a significant break in his offending.

But, she added, it was his fourth alcohol related offence concerning driving matters.

She asked the court to leave something hanging over the defendant’s head to put the onus on him to stay out of trouble.

Imposing the suspended sentences District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said Russell had a number of relevant previous convictions.