Three times legal limit

A driver who was detected driving with almost three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system had been drinking the day before he was stopped, Derry Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.

Mike O’Donnell (36) of Elmvale was stopped by police at the Glen Road at 1.20pm on March 11. Police noted he had been talking on a hand held mobile phone and was not wearing his seatbelt.

Police said O’Donnell’s eyes were glazed and “that he had difficulty understanding instructions”.

He failed a preliminary breath test, and was later found to have 98mgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath - 63mgs over the limit.

A defence solicitor told the court that his client was detected on a Monday afternoon. He had been drinking into the early hours of Monday morning. He “took a risk” to drive when “a taxi fare could have solved all these difficulties for him”.

Derry’s District Judge Barney McElholm said the reading was “quite a high one” and he disqualified O’Donnell for a total of 18 months. He also fined him £250.