Bangor motorist was four times drink drive limit after colliding with neighbour's car

Bangor motorist was four times drink drive limit after colliding with neighbour's car

A BANGOR motorist was four times the drink drive limit when breath tested a number of hours after crashing into a neighbour's vehicle.

Natalie Lisa Booth (40), of Copper Green, had the case listed as a contest but pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in her breath at Copper Green on September 20, 2021.

A prosecutor told Newtownards Magistrates Court a resident discovered, at 7.50am, her car was damaged and then noticed damage was also caused to a vehicle parked in the defendant's driveway.

Police attended at 9.05am and could smell alcohol from the defendant who failed a preliminary breath test.

At a police station in Lurgan at around 11.30am the defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 139 - the legal limit is 35.

The court heard the defendant had a previously clear record and a defence lawyer said Booth was "remorseful" for what happened.

District Judge Mark Hamill said the defendant claimed to have taken alcohol after the collision.

He said he wants people to be aware that so-called '"hip flask defence" cases regarding alleged post-incident consumption of alcohol are a "waste of time" whenever a witness said she smelt alcohol.

The judge said: "Had you run this case unsuccessfully you would have been sent to prison for four months. I want this warning to go out to people running hopeless hip flask defences that I will not be impressed".

He handed down a four months prison term, suspended for three years; a two year driving ban and a £400 fine.