A driver (64) collided with a parked car near her home on the way home from an off-licence.
Dorothy McDonald, a factory worker of Glebe Avenue, Coleraine, had a high alcohol reading of 120 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35mcgs – but the judge said he was prepared to accept she had consumed much of that after the incident.
The defendant appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on August 6 and admitted charges of driving with excess alcohol in her breath and failing to stop at the scene of an accident which happened on June 14 this year.
Initially the defendant told police she had no alcohol prior to the collision and had only taken alcohol when she got home because she was “shook up”.
However, with her guilty plea in court, she was now accepting she had drink taken before the collision. A defence lawyer said McDonald had a clear record and clean driving licence and on the day in question had a couple of vodkas and thought she was ok to drive to an off-licence.
The lawyer said the collision happened 50 metres from her home and a few minutes later the mother of the owner of the vehicle which had been struck arrived at her door.
The lawyer said police had not arrived until three or four hours later and by that time the defendant had consumed quite a bit more drink which, the legal representative said, explained the high reading.
The lawyer said McDonald had a clear record since first driving at the age of 17 and she was “extremely embarrassed” by being in court.
Deputy District Judge John Rea said he could give credit for the previous good record.
He said it was a high reading and normally that meant a longer ban but he said he was prepared to accept that McDonald had consumed much of the alcohol after the collision.
The defendant was banned from driving for a year and fined £450.