A drunk Coalisland motorist who parked his vehicle at the roadside to inflate a mattress for his friend has narrowly avoided losing his licence.
Kamil Dubel, 23, from School Gardens, had been drinking left-over beer from his birthday party the day before when he was arrested by police at Atlowen Park in Coalisland on June 18.
The defendant, who is originally from Poland, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Dubel, who was unrepresented in court, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol.
The court heard how a mobile police patrol came upon the defendant’s car parked along the roadside, and noticed the passenger drinking from a can of Heineken beer.
When officers spoke to the driver, they noticed a smell of intoxicating liquor from his breath and that his eyes were glazed.
Dubel informed police that the vehicle was his, and handed them the keys. At the time, police noticed that there was an inflatable mattress at the roadside, connected to the defendant’s car through an electrical charger lead.
The defendant was asked to undergo a breath test at the side of the road, which he failed, the court heard.
He was subsequently taken to Dungannon Police Station where an evidential breath test showed a lower reading of 80mcg.
With the help of an interpreter, the defendant told the court that he did not have a UK driving licence, but that he did carry a Polish licence.
He added that he did not have a previous record of motoring offences, and that it had been ‘a small incident’, in which he was using the car to inflate a mattress.
The key had been in the ignition, but the car had not been switched on.
The judge asked the defendant had he been having any problems on the day in question to explain his alcohol use.
Dubel explained that it had been his birthday the day before, and he had some excess drinks left over.
His friend was moving home and needed his mattress inflated. He went on to say that he had a wife and child living in Poland, whom he supported financially.
The judge told him that in the normal course of events, anyone who got behind the wheel of their car with alcohol on board would lose their licence.
However, in this instance, the defendant had not been driving his car, had a clear motoring record, and had pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.
The judge said that these factors made a difference, and instead of disqualification, he handed Dubel ten penalty points and fined him £200 as well as the offender’s levy of £15.
The judge granted him twelve weeks to pay the fine.