Over-the-limit driver detected after coming to attention of police on motorway

Over-the-limit driver detected after coming to attention of police on motorway

AN over-the-limit motorist who continued driving for several miles despite police using sirens, flashing lights and indicators to get him to stop has been banned from the roads for 16 months and fined £400.

Paul Wilkinson (38), of Ballyhenry Avenue, Newtownabbey, came to police attention on the M22 motorway at Ballygrooby near Randalstown where his vehicle had been stationery on the hard shoulder at 11.40pm on June 4 this year.

The vehicle then began driving on the inside lane around 30mph and it swerved onto the hard shoulder a number of times.

Police were ahead of the vehicle and activated flashing lights but the vehicle overtook them.

For around three miles police attempted to stop the vehicle using flashing lights, sirens and indicators.

They were able to stop the vehicle on the Hillhead Road near Toome.

There was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and the defendant was unsteady on his feet.

He failed a preliminary breath test and in custody had an alcohol in breath reading of 76 - the legal limit is 35.

A defence lawyer said the defendant was "very sorry" for what happened and "very embarrassed".

The court heard the defendant had been at a function "to do with his work" and had made an "error of judgment" in driving.

At Antrim Magistrates' Court, sitting in Ballymena, District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a "high reading combined with a very poor piece of driving".

He added: "He is very lucky. Were it not for the prompt and efficient action of the police a more serious accident could have developed".