Man who drove himself to PSNI station after drinking committed ‘nonsensical’ act

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

An Antrim man who drove himself to a police station while almost three times over the drink-drive limit was banned for 30 months.

In addition to the disqualification, district judge Peter King fined 57-year-old Francis McVeigh £400 for drink-driving and having no insurance, telling the former psychiatric nurse “clearly you have demons to deal with”.

McVeigh, from Angus Street in the town, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to driving with excess alcohol in breath and without insurance in the vicinity of Castle Street on December 28 last year.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court how McVeigh had gone to the police station on an unrelated matter when officers noted he smelt of alcohol.

Asked how he had gotten to the station, McVeigh initially claimed his son-in-law had driven him but when he was contacted, it transpired he was on his way to Tipperary and when that was put to McVeigh, he conceded he had driven himself.

McVeigh failed a breath test, giving a sample of 97mg of alcohol in 100mls of blood, the limit being 35.

Enquiries with his insurance company revealed the policy had been cancelled in October as a result of a missed payment.

Defence barrister Neil Moore conceded its “an unusual case to put it mildly... a completely nonsensical thing to do” but added that McVeigh “doesn’t wish to drive in the future.”

He revealed that having previously worked as a psychiatric nurse at Holywell Hospital, “that’s had a significant effect on him” resulting in a “daily battle” with the bottle.

Sentencing McVeigh and ordering him to pay a £15 offender levy as well as the fines, judge King said the defence had “painted a tragic picture... with the smack of post-traumatic stress disorder”.