A man who was more than three times over the legal limit has been disqualified from driving at Fermanagh Magistrates Court.

Varavs Ritvars with an address of Castlebalfour Road, Lisnaskea was found guilty of driving with excess alcohol in his breath after he was stopped by police on Main Street, Maguiresbridge on December 9, 2018.

The court heard that on the night in question at around 12.25am police on patrol on the Lisnagoole Road, Maguiresbridge observed a Volkswagen Jetta driving in front of them. The car was driving very slowly and was veering on to the other side of the road. The left indicator was on and the driver was breaking when it was not necessary.

The police continued to follow the car and when it turned into Main Street, Maguiresbridge it veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Police stopped the car, spoke to the defendant and smelled alcohol of him. A preliminary breath test was carried out which returned a reading of 103mg per 100ml of breath. The 44 year old was arrested and brought to Omagh Police Station.

Myles McManus, defence solicitor for Ritvars, said that there was no doubt that this was an extremely high reading.

By way of explanation to the court around the events of the night in question, Mr. McManus told the court that the long term partner of Ritvars had been on a night out in Enniskillen.

The defendant’s partner spoke very little English and was having some difficulty in getting a way home. She became distressed and sought the help of her partner and foolishly he went to help.

Mr. McManus continued by telling the court that his client is a lorry driver who would inevitably lose his job as a result of this.

When passing judgement, District Judge Michael Ranahan said that he had to take into account the significantly high reading which would usually result in a disqualification of two years.

However, he also took on board everything that had been said on Ritvars behalf, the fact he had been driving for 24 years and had no record, his early guilty plea and that he was going to lose his job.

Judge Ranahan disqualified Ritvars from driving for 18 months, however there was the possibility of a 25 per cent reduction if he passes a certified drink driving course, and a £150 fine.