Over-the-limit Bangor motorist says he drove home because of taxi 'shortage'

Over-the-limit Bangor motorist says he drove home because of taxi 'shortage'

A DEFENCE lawyer said a Bangor man claimed he did not intend to drive home but did so after being unable to get a taxi due to 'shortages'.

Ryan William Corbett (33), of Marquis Manor, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in breath in the town on February 13 this year.

A prosecutor told Newtownards Magistrates Court that at 2am on Sunday February 13 police saw a vehicle "swerving" in Bangor.

When officers spoke to the defendant his speech was slurred; his eyes were glazed and there was a "strong" smell of intoxicating liquor.

The defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 72 - the legal limit is 35.

The defence lawyer said the defendant works at Belfast City Hospital.

He said the defendant had driven into Bangor town centre and had not planned to drive home.

The lawyer added: "Unfortunately, having had a number of drinks, there were no taxis available due to the current ongoing taxi shortages, and he describes making a very foolish mistake, thinking he was OK, having been drinking a number of pints over a number of hours, and decided to drive home".

The lawyer said there had been a reference to "swerving" but that the defendant would say the police indicated he had crossed the central line on a number of occasions on what was a "relatively narrow street".

District Judge Mark Hamill said the defendant had a previous conviction for drink driving.

He adjourned sentencing to April 11 for a pre-sentence report.

The judge said it would either be a suspended jail sentence or Probation but there would be, at least, a three year ban.

An interim driving ban was put in place.