Teacher was three times drink drive limit after leaving McDonald’s

An unemployed teacher from Ballymena was caught driving at almost three times the drink limit after going to a McDonald’s drive-thru.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 3:43 pm

Eamonn Patrick O’Hara (59) of Deramore Avenue, admitted driving with excess alcohol in breath in Ballymena town centre on June 9 this year.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police received a report from staff at McDonald’s drive-thru regarding a motorist who appeared to be heavily intoxicated.

Police saw the vehicle a short time later at Parkway in Ballymena and when it stopped there was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and the defendant’s eyes were glazed and his speech slurred and slow.

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The defendant, the prosecutor said, told police he had a health condition and could not give a preliminary breath test.

In custody the defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 102 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

A defence solicitor said it was a “very high reading” and the defendant had a previous similar conviction in 2010.

She said the defendant was an unemployed school teacher who “battles with alcohol”.

Deputy District Judge Greg McCourt said it was a “very high reading” and banned the defendant from driving for two years and fined him £350.