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Drink driver whose car plunged onto rocks in Portstewart gets two and half year ban

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McAuley Multimedia

A drink driver who crashed onto rocks on a shoreline at a north coast seaside resort has been banned from getting behind the wheel for 30 months and fined £500, Coleraine Magistrates Court heard on Monday.

Stacey Yates (32), of Danes Hill Road, Coleraine, was sentenced after she previously admitted a charge of driving with excess alcohol in her breath.

The court heard she had a reading of 108 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath with the legal limit being 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – making her more than three times the limit.

The previous court heard a prosecution lawyer say police received a report of a car on rocks below the promenade at The Crescent in Portstewart on March 5 this year.

A defence barrister told the earlier hearing the defendant was a “lady of good character” who was now “totally embarrassed” at what happened after the incident “attracted quite a significant amount of attention”.

He said it was a “sad” case and that the defendant had long-standing mental health issues.

On the day in question the defendant tried to go off her medication and at her “lowest ebb” she decided to drive onto the rocks, the court heard.

The lawyer said it was a “deliberate action” but no other cars were inconvenienced.

The barrister said it was accepted it was a high alcohol reading.

District Judge Peter King told the previous court he wanted a pre-sentence report due to the “very unusual set of circumstances”.

At Monday’s court it was heard that during the crash the defendant escaped with just a “bump” on her head.

Judge King said the circumstances of the case were “stark” as the defendant had been more than three times the drink drive limit.

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