Motorist was more than three times the drink limit

Motorist was more than three times the drink limit

A MOTORIST was found to be three-and-a-half-times the drink drive limit after a collision in Randalstown.

Kara Mary McEwan (38), of Ballantine Lane, Lisburn, admitted driving with excess alcohol on May 17 this year.

She had an alcohol in breath reading of 120 - the legal limit is 35.

A prosecutor told Antrim Magistrates' Court, sitting in Ballymena, the defendant was heavily intoxicated and sleeping in bed when police arrived.

The defendant said she had drank gin she bought in Lisburn and had gone to a friend's home in Randalstown.

A defence lawyer said the defendant asked her to apologise as McEwan knew her "absolutely deplorable" conduct had posed a risk to herself and others.

The lawyer said the defendant's drink intake had increased whilst working from home during the pandemic.

The lawyer said the defendant also left her job with a drinks company because "she felt being surrounded by drink each day and talking about drink only served to perpetuate the problem that she herself recognised that she had".

The lawyer said the defendant had been to rehab and attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings "three times a day" - one in person and two by 'zoom'.

On May 17 after being off drink for more than seven months she had relapsed she had gone to the friend's house to "sleep it off".

The court was told the defendant was "ashamed and embarrassed".

District Judge Nigel Broderick said McEwan had driven with a "dangerously high level" of alcohol and had she injured or killed someone she would have been facing a long time in prison but it had been "fortuitous" that had not happened.

The defendant was banned from driving for 20 months and fined £400.