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Armagh driver ‘foaming at the mouth’ and smelling of cannabis refused to give blood sample to police

Court heard defendant was observed to have slurred speech, glazed eyes and was foaming at the mouth

An Armagh man suspected of driving whilst unfit through drugs has been handed a 12 month disqualification after failing to provide a sample of blood for testing.

Court heard that the 23-year-old was arrested after failing a field impairment test at the roadside with police attention being drawn to him due to the manner of his driving.

Joseph Vincent Kelly, of Armore Close, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to failing to provide a specimen whilst driving unfit at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry.

Prosecution outlined that on April 17, police on patrol observed a car being driven erratically on the Ballynahonemore Road, Armagh.

Officers spoke to the driver of the vehicle, who was identified as the defendant, and upon doing so a strong smell of cannabis was detected.

Kelly was also observed to have slurred speech, glazed eyes and was foaming at the mouth.

A search was conducted of the defendant’s vehicle, which provided a negative result.

The defendant complied with a preliminary breath test which resulted in a zero reading. He then engaged in a field impairment test which he failed.

Kelly was arrested and conveyed to Musgrave Police Station, where he refused to supply a sample of blood for testing.

Defence barrister Scott McWhinney stated that his client had a “difficult number of years”, with a cancer diagnosis resulting in the amputation of a lower limb and the end of a promising gaelic football career.

District Judge Bernie Kelly disqualified the defendant from driving for 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.

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