Motorist with 'grotesque' drink drive reading detected after stopping to assist at the scene of a road traffic collision near Randalstown

Motorist with 'grotesque' drink drive reading detected after stopping to assist at the scene of a road traffic collision near Randalstown

A MOTORIST with a "grotesque" alcohol reading - three and a half times the limit - came to police attention after he stopped to assist at the scene of a road traffic collision near Randalstown.

A person at the scene suspected Martin Donaghy had alcohol onboard and told police on June 27 last year, Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, heard.

A prosecutor said a member of the public said a man in a white van wearing a hi-viz jacket had attended the scene of a collision at Ahoghill Road, Randalstown.

The 47-year-old defendant, of Groggan Road near Randalstown,  told police he was on his way home when he came across a collision and had stopped to see if he could provide assistance.

Police noticed he was unsteady on his feet and was slurring his words and at Antrim Police Station he had an alcohol in breath reading of 126 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

Defence barrister Thomas McKeever said it was an "unusual case" and accepted the reading was high.

He said the defendant works for Roads Service and after doing a nightshift he had been awake for 30 hours with no food.

The defendant had been at a friend's house and had taken drink and on the way home he came across the scene of a two vehicle collision.

The lawyer added: "Given the state he was in many people would have driven off and ignored the collision. He got out, he put on his work clothes, and assisted".

The barrister said another man who was assisting noticed the defendant was intoxicated and told police.

The lawyer said the defendant volunteered information to police that he had been driving otherwise it may have been an 'in charge' case.

He said the defendant had been driving for over 30 years and losing his licence would mean his "employment would obviously suffer".

Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said: "I think that only somebody who was that drunk would have stopped and behaved in that way. It is a grotesque reading".

The defendant was banned from driving for two years and fined £300.