Jail for Northern Ireland drink driver with 'one of worst' readings of the year
A man with one of the highest alcohol readings detected on Northern Ireland's roads this year has been jailed for 10 months and banned from the road for five years.
Ciara Mariusz Kucinski (30), of Main Street in Portglenone, was detected driving near his home in a Peugeot 206 on November 5 - just a few days after being given a suspended jail term and being banned for four years at a court for another similarly high drink reading.
On October 28, he had been in court and admitted driving with excess alcohol in his breath while using the same car at Ballymacombs Road between Portglenone and Bellaghy three days earlier.
He also admitted possession of cannabis; insurance and driving licence offences as well as having defective tyres.
A PSNI Facebook page had previously made reference to the October case and said the defendant was "almost four times the limit".
On Thursday, Ballymena Magistrates' Court heard that on November 5 - this time in Portglenone - the defendant registered 136 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, with the legal limit being 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Although the detection was outside the period of the police's Christmas crackdown, the 136 reading is higher than the highest reading recorded - 133 - in the PSNI 2017/18 Christmas/New Year anti-drink campaign.
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Last year, the highest figure in the Christmas campaign was 153.
Kucinski, originally from Poland, appeared at Ballymena court via video-link from prison where he has been on remand after being taken into custody on November 5.
He pleaded guilty to charges of driving with excess alcohol in his breath; driving whilst disqualified and being uninsured. The court heard that when stopped by police, he failed a preliminary breath test and when he gave an evidential sample two-and-a-half hours later, he had a reading of 136 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Defence solicitor Sara Edge said Kucinski had shown "very poor judgement". District Judge Steven Keown said the "public has to be protected" and said he worried if Kucinski re-offended, crashed and "kills somebody".
The judge activated the suspended sentence and added five months for the new offences, making a total of 10 months in custody and also banned the defendant from driving for five years.