A DONEGAL man who was “effectively homeless” has been disqualified from driving after police found him sitting in the drivers seat at the side of the road drinking vodka after the vehicle broke down.
Kevin Devenney (52) from Castlefin was charged driving without a licence, using a vehicle without insurance, and being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink after the incident on August 16.
Enniskillen Magistrates Court heard on Monday that police on the Pettigo Road in Kesh when they saw Devenney’s green Ford Focus parked in a lay-by at the side of the road.
When they approached the car the officers found Devenney in the driver’s seat with a half-full glass in his hand, and found a bottle of vodka at the side of the seat.
The defendant told the officers he had drank half the bottle, which he had picked up at a local supermarket.
Devenney had the keys to the car in his pocket, but turned on his engine to show the officers the steering of the car was not working.
The court was told Devenney had been driving in the area when the car had broken down, and had bought the vodka to drink while he waited to be picked up by a friend.
The officers asked Devenney, who appeared in court via video link from prison where he is in custody on separate charges, to get out of the car and noted he was unsteady on his feet.
He later returned an evidential reading of 41 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
Defence solicitor Barry Lynam explained Devenney was “effectively homeless” at the time of the incident and had been driving back to the South when his car broke down. Mr Lynam said Devenney had called an acquaintance to come collect him, and had bought the vodka to drink while he waited.
District Judge Nigel Broderick disqualified Devenney from driving for 12 months and fined him £200 for being drunk in charge of a vehicle.
For having no insurance he fined him £100 and disqualified him from driving for nine months, concurrent, while for having no licence he fined him a further £100 and disqualified him for another nine months, also concurrent.
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