Over-the-limit motorist (73) from Galgorm claimed he crashed into back of another vehicle after 'glancing down at radio'

Over-the-limit motorist (73) from Galgorm claimed he crashed into back of another vehicle after 'glancing down at radio'

A 73-year-old motorist who has admitted being over the limit and driving without due care and attention when he struck the back of a vehicle in "slow moving" traffic in the Ballymena area claimed he had glanced down at the radio.

Stewart Alexander Hillis, of Sandmount Road, Galgorm, then left the scene around 5pm on November 9 this year, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard.

The other motorist said the defendant had been "staggering around" and when police went to Hillis' home they could smell alcohol from his breath.

He had an alcohol in breath reading of 100 - the legal limit is 35. The defendant told police he had "drank half a bottle of wine at that stage," a prosecutor said.

Defence solicitor Stephen McCann said it was "not a significant collision".

He said the defendant had taken a "glass of wine" earlier in the day with his lunch and when the van driver "remonstrated" with him about the collision he decided that he wold go home.

The lawyer said Hillis knew his registration number had been taken and the "police would come".

The solicitor said the defendant apologised and it was a "pity that at 73 years of age" his actions had led to a court case.

District Judge Nigel Broderck said it was a high reading and banned Hillis from driving for 18 months and a £300 fine.

  • Main picture: Generic picture of a car radio.