A Portadown man who was seen drinking from a tin of beer as he drove into a drive through takeaway was given a suspended prison sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
And he was also given a three year driving ban.
Jonathan Byrne (30), Killycomain Drive, Portadown, had pleaded guilty to a number of offences at a previous sitting of Craigavon Magistrates Court.
The offences were driving with excess alcohol in breath on December 18 last year, driving while disqualified, not having insurance and taking the car without the consent of the owner.
Sentencing had been adjourned to last Wednesday’s court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.
The court heard that at approximately 3.35am Byrne drove to the service window at McDonald’s in Meadow Lane.
There was an open can of beer in the cup holder and another at the driver’s door. A staff member had noticed him drinking from the can of beer.
At first Byrne refused to provide his details and would not give a sample but at Lurgan custody suite he identified himself and an evidential sample gave a reading of 67 in breath.
It transpired he was disqualified from driving. He had been disqualified from driving at Laganside court on January 13 last year.
When interviewed Byrne admitted taking the car which belonged to his mother fron a friend’s house to go to McDonald’s.
A solicitor representing the defendant said he was very apprehensive at what will happen and he had been open and frank with probation in the report.
He added that Byrne was trying to deal with his difficulties and asked the court to leave something hanging over his head which would make clear to him what the outcome would be if there was any offending in the future.
Deputy District Judge Brian Archer said that not only was the defendant driving while disqualified he was drink driving on this occasion and had taken the car without consent.
He asked that Byrne should be taken down to the cells in the courthouse so he could consider the matter.
Later in the court he sentenced the defendant to two months in prison, suspended for two years, banned him for three years, fined him a total of £650 and ordered him to pay a £15 offender’s levy.