Belfast Telegraph

Woman before court for one of the 'highest ever' drink-drive readings

By Nevin Farrell

A woman has appeared in court in Ballymena after recording a drink-drive breath reading of more than four times the limit.

Roberta Lorraine Aiken (36), of Phoenix Fields, Ballymena, registered 145 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath with the legal limit being 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

The reading is one of the highest ever before a court in Northern Ireland, and higher than anything recorded by the PSNI in its drink-drive clampdown over Christmas last year.

Aiken was warned she faces more than just a driving ban and fine when she is sentenced.

In court she pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in her breath.

Ballymena Magistrates Court heard the detection came to light on November 11 last year following a collision in the town.

The detection came before the annual Christmas drink drive clampdown which ran during the month of December but as an example of how high Aiken's reading was, the biggest reading in the whole of Northern Ireland over the festive period in 2017 was 133 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

At Ballymena Court, defence barrister Michael Smyth accepted Aiken had a "high reading" and District Judge Peter King said: "She was more than four times the legal limit".

At Thursday's court, sentencing was deferred until March but Aiken was given an interim disqualification from driving.

Judge King said that as the reading was so high that ultimately the case would not only be dealt with by just a fine and a ban but other options could include making Aiken do Community Service.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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