A BROUGHSHANE man was, at 7am on July 13 last year, found "unconscious" in the driver's seat of a BMW car which was in a ditch.
Thomas Adams (20), of Knockboy Road, has admitted being in charge of a vehicle whilst having excess alcohol in his blood at Ballycloghan Road.
A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police made a number of attempts to "waken" the defendant until he responded and he was taken to Antrim Area Hospital by ambulance.
The defendant had a reading of 219 milligrammes of alcohol - the legal limit is 80 - in 100 millilitres of blood.
The prosecutor said the defendant admitted to having driven the vehicle.
Defence barrister Liam McStay said the defendant, who had no previous convictions, was fortunate not to have injured himself or anyone else.
He said the defendant is an "ambitious, hard-working, young man" and there was an "excellent reference" from his employer.
Mr McStay said that "on the public holiday" the defendant "allowed himself to relax to a huge degree and this terrible decision results".
He said the defendant "deeply regrets" what happened.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was at a "loss" as to why the defendant had not been charged with drink driving and he said he would like an explanation from the Public Prosecution Service.
The judge told the defendant: "You were very lucky that you didn't injure yourself or anyone else".
He said it was aggravated by a vehicle being found in a ditch and a very high reading.
The judge said he took into account the previous clear record and the reference given to the court.
The defendant was banned from driving for nine months and fined £250.
- Main picture: Ballymena Magistrates Court.