Motorist (18) caught drink driving after passenger in vehicle was 'acting the maggot'

Motorist (18) caught drink driving after passenger in vehicle was 'acting the maggot'

AN 18-year-old motorist who had only passed his test two months earlier was caught drink driving, with a defence lawyer claiming attention was drawn to the vehicle because a passenger was "acting the maggot".

Rhys Dennison, of Parkmount Crescent, Ballymena, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath on August 22 this year.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court at 10am on the date in question police received a report from a member of the public that a motorist may have been under the influence "due to the behaviour of occupants in the vehicle, and the driver".

Police went to the address of the last registered owner and the defendant then drove towards the property.

He had a reading of 56 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

The court heard he had a previously clear record.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said the defendant had saved up and bought his own car and is now going to be off the road; will have to do his test again and the insurance is going to be "astronomical".

The lawyer said the defendant's "mother and father have spoken to him very severely about this".

Mr Law said it was a "morning after calculation".

The defendant had parked at a friend's house and caught a taxi to a "party" in Randalstown and when he returned by taxi the following morning Dennison was taking his car back to his own house.

Mr Law said a passenger was "acting the maggot in the car" and somebody contacted the police.

He said it was the "folly of youth" and the defendant apologises.

Mr Law continued: "Because of the antics of his mate he finds himself before the court but he shouldn't have been behind the wheel, he should have left it another couple of hours".

The defendant was banned from driving for a year; will have to re-sit his test, and was fined £150.