A MAN (81) who had a “few gins” after going out to meet friends in a bid to lift his mood three days before Christmas was then spotted swerving a car across white lines.
Neville Coyles, of Magheraboy Court in Portrush, was driving a Volkswagen Golf on the Ballyreagh Road near the town on Sunday December 22 last year when police on mobile patrol saw the vehicle veering “numerous times”.
The defendant had a reading of 52 microgammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath with the legal limit being 35mcgs.
At Coleraine Magistrates Court he pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath.
A prosecutor said the defendant told police he had a “few gins”.
A defence lawyer said the defendant had never been in court before and had a completely clear driving record.
The lawyer said his client was very embarrassed that such an “exemplary” record had ended.
The court was told that on December 22 the defendant had not been feeling well and decided to meet some friends for a meal “to try and lift his mood”.
When he went out he wasn’t able to eat and that may have influenced the impact of the alcohol, the lawyer said.
The defendant was banned from driving for the statutory minimum period of one year and fined £250 but was told he was suitable for the drink driving course which, if completed, will reduce the ban by a quarter.