Took hot whisky before crashing

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After taking a hot whiskey for medicinal purposes a 50-year-old woman collided with a wall while driving in Gilford.

Christine Ferguson, Old Forge, Banbridge, admitted driving with excess alcohol in her breath on February 2 this year. She was fined £250 last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and banned for 12 months.

The court heard that a road traffic collision took place at Ann Street in Gilford where a car had come off the road and collided with a wall. She immediately told police she was a driver and they smelled alcohol on her breath. An evidential test gave a reading of 51.

A solicitor representing the defendant said she had suffered a family bereavement and her mother was in hospital at the time.

He added that she had taken a hot whiskey for medicinal purposes and was returning from visiting her mother in hospital when she had a lapse in concentration. She had no record whatsoever.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said this was down largely to an error of judgement on her part aggravated by family stress she was undergoing at the time.

He added that he would mitigate the penalty which usually ensued where an accident happened.