‘New evidence’ in vape court case

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A Ballymena man who unsuccessfully tried to say vaping put him over the drink drive limit is to appeal, it emerged on Thursday.

Earlier this month a court rejected what was believed to have been the first attempted defence of its kind in the UK - that alcohol in an e-cigarette caused a police breathalyser machine to show a man was almost twice the drink drive limit.

Aaron Galbraith - a 35-year-old chef from Dunluce Park - was instead convicted of drink driving which occurred as he left a friend home from the cinema - his second drink driving conviction - and he was banned from the road for three years and fined £300.

It was believed to the first time in the United Kingdom the defence that vaping had make him break the law was used and outside Ballymena Magistrates Court on September 1 he said he was considering appealing the decision.

On Thursday his solicitor Stewart Ballentine returned to the same court and said an lodged an appeal.

Mr Ballentine said “new scientific evidence” will be brought to the appeal court.

District Judge Peter King noted the “unique nature” of the case and fixed bail of £250 to allow Galbraith, who is getting legal aid, to appeal.

Galbraith is also allowed to drive in the mean time.

Speaking to the press after the September 1 court case, he claimed he had not been drinking - and only consumes alcohol four times a year - but had been vaping before and after an accident including a short time before he carried out the breathalyser test.

Galbraith said because he had a previous drink driving offence ten years ago it meant he never again would have taken the wheel if had consumed drink.