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Woman who plunged down embankment in Antrim admits drink-driving

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Rescuers at the scene where Shaw’s car crashed down an embankment

Rescuers at the scene where Shaw’s car crashed down an embankment

Rescuers at the scene where Shaw’s car crashed down an embankment

A woman has pleaded guilty to drink-driving after a car plunged down a steep embankment at Portballintrae harbour.

Deborah Shaw (44), of Beach Road in Portballintrae, admitted driving with excess alcohol last month.

She appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday.

The emergency services were called to the scene at Bayhead Road in north Antrim after 8pm on January 27.

Firefighters made the vehicle safe while the woman driving the car was treated by the ambulance service.

Press pictures at the time showed a car midway down an embankment and a rescue vehicle in attendance.

A prosecutor said yesterday that at around 8.30pm police were tasked to a one-vehicle road traffic collision where the vehicle had ended up at the bottom of a verge near the Bayview Hotel.

Officers saw the defendant in an ambulance.

She admitted she had been driving and claimed to police the accident happened when she "swerved to avoid another vehicle".

The defendant gave a preliminary breath sample of 101 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

When she gave an evidential sample, which is relied upon in court, she had a reading of 66 micrograms per 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Fergus McIntosh said the defendant lives alone in Portballintrae and has two children at boarding school in Belfast.

The court heard the defendant's marriage ended around eight years ago and she was on anti-depressants.

District Judge Bonita Boyd said a letter of reference handed to the court indicated alcohol also seemed to be an issue with the defendant.

The judge said a pre-sentence report would be beneficial to "see what is going on".

The defendant was given an interim driving ban and the case was adjourned to March 23.

Belfast Telegraph