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District judge brands drink driver’s explanation to court ‘mad dog lies’

Defendant claimed he had been 15 hours alcohol-free when he blew over twice legal limit

PSNI police drink driving

A motorist who claimed to be 15 hours alcohol-free when he blew more than double the legal limit when detected by police drink driving has been handed a 12-month disqualification.

The district judge told the 54-year-old: “If that were the case you would have been in the back of an ambulance on your way to the hospital the night before.”

James Crossey, of Aghalee Road, Aghagallon, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on February 2, the defendant was stopped by police driving on Central Way, Craigavon.

Officers detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and noted that Crossey’s hands were shaking.

A preliminary breath test was conducted which resulted in a fail and a reading of 84mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Whilst in custody, a second reading of 79mg in 100ml of breath was obtained.

Defence counsel stated: “He had been at a bar the previous night, he left at 7pm, went home, had an evening meal and a good night’s sleep.

“He left it late to go to work the next morning and made the assessment that he was fine to drive.”

He commented that this was a “miscalculation” for the defendant who came before the court with a clear record over a long driving career.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Who does he expect to believe that? Fifteen hours of being alcohol-free, a meal, a good night’s sleep and he blows double the legal limit.

“If that were the case you would have been in the back of an ambulance on your way to the hospital the night before.”

She added: “He would not be able to remember going home, having the meal or going to sleep.

“I don’t know why people tell these mad dog lies.”

Crossey was handed a 12-month disqualification and ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months if completed.

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