Over-the-limit man was 'in charge' of vehicle after leaving wedding in Broughshane

Over-the-limit man was 'in charge' of vehicle after leaving wedding in Broughshane

A MAN who was almost three times the limit whilst 'in charge' of a vehicle in Broughshane claimed he had only gone to the car to power up a mobile phone whilst attending a wedding reception.

Christopher McKernan, whose age was not given on the charge sheet, came to police attention after 12.15am on January 27 this year.

Officers received a report that the intoxicated defendant, with an address listed as Ardmonagh Gardens in Belfast, had got into a vehicle at The Wool Tower.

He pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol in his breath.

A charge of common assault was withdrawn after a caution was administered.

The keys were in the ignition with the engine running. The defendant had a reading of 94 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

A defence solicitor said the defendant was at a wedding and he and a friend planned to stay locally.

She said the defendant had attempted to make a booking but unfortunately because it was right at the end of the month he had "insufficient funds" with which to make the booking.

The lawyer said McKernan works for the Belfast health trust and his wages had been due to go into his account after midnight and he intended at that stage to make the hotel booking.

She said he had "no intention of ever driving," Court News NI can report.

The solicitor said McKernan had gone to his car to charge his phone which is why the ignition was on.

The defendant was given ten penalty points and fined £300.