A farmer from Northern Ireland who was caught driving whilst almost twice the legal limit was returning to his yard to check on reported damage to a tractor, a court has heard.

According to the Armaghi, 42-years-old Thomas Breslin, of Derrylee Road, Maghery entered a guilty plea to a single charge of driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ court, sitting at Lisburn.

Police observed the farmer driving

The prosecution outlined that on July 19, at 8.45pm, police observed Breslin driving a Citroën Berlingo on the Maghery Road in Dungannon.

Police believed he was over the legal drink drive limit and subsequently arrested him.

Two samples of breath were obtained at Dungannon custody suite, the lower giving a reading of 68mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Kevin McCamley told the court: “He apologises to the court for this lapse in good judgement. He instructs he drove 200 to 300m up the road to a friend’s house, where he had a few beers.

He is the sole proprietor of a farm yard and knows the inevitable outcome of today’s proceedings.

"He then received a report that a window had been smashed on his tractor and he made the stupid decision to drive back to the yard."

The Armaghi reports that Breslin was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £250 (€280), along with the offender’s levy of £15 (€16.85), within 12 weeks.

District Judge Rosie Watters certified Breslin for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.