When police noticed the smell of drink on his breath a 49-year-old man told them he had taken a hot punch for the cold, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.
Brendan Greenan, Downpatrick Street, Rathfriland, admitted driving with excess alcohol in his breath on December 30 last year at Knock Road, Katesbridge.
He was fined £300, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and banned from driving for 18 months.
The court heard that at 10.45am police received a report of car being driven by someone who was intoxicated in the Rathfriland area.
They saw the defendant in the vehicle at Knock Road and there was a smell of intoxicating liquor on his breath.
When he was asked if he had been drinking Greenan said that about one hour before he had taken a hot punch for a cold.
He failed the roadside test and an evidential test gave a reading of 86.
A solicitor representing the defendant said it was accepted that it was more than a cup of punch Greenan had consumed that morning.
She explained that he was only going a short distance to a neighbour’s house.
The solicitor added that her client had alcohol problems and was attending certain groups including the addictions unit and Relate. He was making a valiant effort to address his issues.
District Judge Rosalie Prytherch said that Greenan had been convicted for an in charge offence on November 12 and just over a month later he was driving with excess alcohol which would concern the court.