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Drink drive accused says e-cigarette put him over the limit

Scientific evidence to be presented in case against alleged drink driver

Evidence from a scientist is due to be presented next month in a case in which an alleged drink driver is attempting to prove alcohol in an e-cigarette put him over the limit, a court was told on Thursday.

The case is believed to be one of the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and a judge says he is looking forward to hearing the details.

Aaron David Galbraith, 35, of Dunluce Park, Ballymena , is charged with driving with excess alcohol in his breath at Tully Road outside the Co Antrim town in November last year.

Defence lawyer Stewart Ballentine told a previous court he wanted to investigate whether alcohol in an electronic cigarette accounted for his client allegedly being almost twice the legal drink limit and the scientist was drafted in.

The accused allegedly had an alcohol/breath reading of 65 – with the legal limit being 35.

Mr Ballentine also told the earlier sitting his client was “constantly using” an e-cigarette at the time of the alleged offence and was adamant he had not consumed any alcohol.

Ballymena Magistrates Court was told on Thursday the case will be heard next month.

District Judge Des Perry told a previous court he was very interested in the outcome of the potentially ground-breaking case.

At a sitting earlier this year the judge said he found the possible link to drink driving “very worrying because I use these gadgets (e-cigarettes) and I might be committing various criminal offences”.

The judge added he had never noticed any adverse effects from e-cigarettes but said over-indulgence is bad.

At Thursday’s court, Judge Perry who is soon to retire, added he is keenly anticipating the court case.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” he told the court.

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