Drink driver ‘going to assist her friend’

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When police approached a parked car in Banbridge they found that the woman in the driver’s seat had been drinking.

Vanessa Keoghan (47), Burnview Terrace, Banbridge, admitted at the local court last Thursday being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol in breath on June 24.

She was fined £300, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and given ten penalty points.

The court heard that around midnight police saw a front seat passenger in a car at Commercial Street drinking from a tin of beer.

The defendant was in the driver’s seat and she failed a preliminary breath test.

An evidential test gave a reading of 52.

A solicitor representing the defendant said she had met with friends after work for a drink before returning home where she consumed a glass of wine.

He explained that she received a call from a friend who had a row with her partner and seemed to be in distress.

The solicitor added that Keoghan went to collect her and did not think she was over the limit.

He said she was a primary carer for her father who lived five miles away and she needed her licence.

The solicitor added that the defendant had been driving for 30 years with a clear record.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said he had been impressed by what had been said on her behalf, her maturity and clear record.

He added that she had made an error of judgement to set off in the first place to assist a friend who was in distress.

The judge accepted she had shown genuine remorse and this would not happen again so he would not disqualify her.