A Coleraine man found asleep at the wheel of a car with alcohol taken claimed he had no intention of driving it after the clutch had failed.
tephen James Moore (38) of Newbridge Park, had the offence detected at Sea Road, Castlerock, on April 24 this year. At Coleraine Magistrates Court he was sentenced after pleading guilty to being in charge of the vehicle and failing to provide a specimen of breath.
A prosecutor said police had received reports of a suspicious vehicle and when they arrived the engine was running and a man in the driver’s seat appeared to be asleep but he woke up when they knocked the window and at the police station failed to provide a specimen of breath.
A defence lawyer said his client had gone to the area to see his nephew whom he thought might have been at Castlerock beach but when the clutch began to go in the car he pulled over and phoned his relative. In the mean time Moore went into a bar and had no intention of driving the vehicle but when his mobile phone battery ran out he went to the car to charge it and was asleep.
He said his client had blown 88 - the legal limit is 35 - in a preliminary breath sample at the scene but at the police station, panicked and did not provide the official sample because he suffers from anxiety. Moore was banned from driving for 15 months and fined £350.