A man and woman were fined a total of £1,300 on Thursday after their “liquid lunch” ended in a drink-driving road rage incident in Belfast city centre.
Patrick Tumelty and Teresa Carson, both 34, downed a bottle of champagne and shots before a collision in rush-hour traffic triggered an outbreak of aggression, a court heard.
Carson, of Springhill Rise in the city, admitted charges of driving while over the limit, having no insurance and attempted criminal damage to another vehicle.
Co-accused Tumelty, from Norglen Parade, Belfast, accepted drink-driving, failing to provide a breath specimen, possession of cannabis found in his car, and assaulting a civilian detention officer.
The pair were detained after a Ford Focus they were in collided with an Audi A6 at Bedford Street on July 3.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard Carson had been verbally abusive to the other motorist and kicked his car.
The driver of the Audi left the scene due to her aggression and because he believed both defendants were drunk.
According to the prosecution Tumelty kicked the civilian officer on the knee after being taken into custody.
A defence lawyer said his clients were friends who had gone into town for something to eat.
“It turned into a liquid lunch,” he acknowledged.
With the pair planning to move on to another venue, Carson decided to move the car parked outside the venue.
Following the collision Tumelty got behind the wheel to move the Focus to the side and avoid a traffic jam, the court heard.
“What followed turned into a bit of a farce,” their solicitor said.
“The two of them are very, very embarrassed. What had been a very nice afternoon turned into a complete disaster.”
Carson was fined a total of £600 for her offences while Tumelty was ordered to pay £700.
District Judge Fiona Bagnall also disqualified them from driving for 12 months each.