Got into car but had not decided to drive home - court told

Court
Court

When police saw a 40-year-old man come out of an off licence and get into a car in Lurgan they smelled alcohol when they talked to him.

Mariusz Janusz Nowakowski, whose address was given to the court as Parkview Court, Lurgan, admitted being in charge of a motor vehicle on December 20 last year with alcohol on his breath.

Last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court he was fined £300, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and was given 11 penalty points.

The court heard that shortly after 6pm at Union Street in Lurgan police saw the defendant come out of off licence premises and walk towards a car before getting into the vehicle on the driver’s side.

The car lights came on and the engine started but the defendant looked in the rear view mirror and noticed police coming up behind him.

There was a smell of alcohol on his breath and he failed the roadside preliminary test.

An evidential breath test gave a reading of 66 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of breath.

Mr Brendan Hagan, representing the defendant, said that his client had been returning from work and called with some friends where he had taken some alcohol.

He added that his client’s home was close to the off licence and he was seen by police coming out after he had purchased some beer.

Mr Hagan said that his client had fully co-operated with the police and would say he had not started the car and had not come to a decision to drive home.