A Claudy man was caught drink driving after a horse bolted from a field and hit his car.
The driver, Peter McKeegan of Glenshane Road Derry was fined £150 and disqualified from driving for 14 months when he appeared at Derry Magistrate’s court this week.
The court heard that police were called to the scene of a road traffic accident on the Glenshane Road where it emerged a horse had died after striking a car.
The defendant (59), was found inside the vehicle with his eyes slurred. He was arrested and taken to Strand Road police station where a breath test revealed he had 91mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
The defendant was interviewed several days later and told police the animal had jumped in front of the car. McKeegan’s solicitor said his client was a man who have suffered four family bereavements and the date of the offence was the birthday of his son who had passed away.
He said that taxis were difficult to get at that time of night and McKeegan had decided to take a risk.
“He fully accepts it was the wrong thing to do,” he said.
“The horse bolted from the field, he didn’t strike the horse, the horse struck the car. Sadly the horse was killed.”
He said the drink driving conviction would lead to the end of his client’s career as a painter and decorator.
“He appreciates this has very serious and far reaching consequences.” he said.