Twice-limit driver Donna Mitchell 'was helping an ill friend'
A driver detected at more than twice the alcohol limit after a collision near Ballycastle claimed she took to the road to help a friend who felt unwell and could not get a taxi home.
Donna Mitchell (35), of Knockahollet Road, Dunloy, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday and admitted a charge of driving with excess alcohol on October 15 this year at Hillside Road, Ballycastle.
A prosecutor said police attended a two vehicle road traffic collision at around 11.45pm where the defendant had been driving a Skoda Octavia. Later, at Coleraine Police Station, she gave a reading of 91 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
Defence solicitor Denise Gillan said her client had been driving for 18 years with a clear record, and had gone to a rural pub with her partner that day, intending not to stay, but "fell into company". Mitchell drove as she had been "trying to do somebody a favour, who wasn't well".
District Judge Liam McNally took into account her guilty plea as he imposed a driving ban of 15 months and a £250 fine.