Drink-drive woman endangered the life of a police officer

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When police stopped a car which almost struck a police officer they found the driver’s airbag inflated and the woman driver highly intoxicated.

Melissa Shepherd (22), Maryville Crescent, Banbridge, admitted driving while unfit through drink on January 1 this year.

She was fined £200, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy, and banned from driving for 16 months.

If she completes a probation course for drink driving the ban will be reduced to 12 months.

The court heard that at 3.45am police were dealing with an incident when a car came along and narrowly missed an officer who had to take evasive action.

They stopped the car in Riverview Court, Banbridge, and the airbag had been activated. Shepherd was in the driver’s seat.

When she got out of the car police noticed she was unsteady on her feet and smelled of alcohol.

In the custody suite she could not supply a breath sample because of a medical reason but gave a sample of blood which gave a reading of 188 – the limit is 80.

A solicitor for the defendant said she had been driving for five years and had never come to police attention in that time.

He added that it was New Year’s Eve and she made a bad mistake to drive because she wanted to get cigarettes.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said the blood alcohol reading was very high, the degree of intoxication was high and she had endangered the life of a police officer.