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Two year ban for man caught driving whilst over limit and with cocaine in his system

Officers also observed two bottles of Buckfast in the passenger footwell of the vehicle

Craigavon-Courthouse

A man who was caught over the limit with cocaine and Pregabalin in his system has been disqualified from driving for two years.

The 34-year-old’s barrister said the defendant had been self-medicating for mental health problems following the death of his uncle.

Wayne Conlan, of Henderson Park in Stewartstown, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance, no driving licence, possession of Class C, driving whilst unfit and aggravated vehicle taking at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on April 14, at 2.20pm, police recieved a report from a member of the public of a BMW swerving on the road in the Moira and Magheralin area.

It was suspected that the driver was intoxicated and at 2.55pm police found the car stationary on the junction of the Springhill Road and Belfast Road in Magheralin.

The engine was still running on the vehicle and the defendant was in the driver seat.

As police assisted Conlan out of the car, they noted that he was unsteady on his feet and he smelled strongly of alcohol.

Officers also observed two bottles of Buckfast in the passenger footwell of the vehicle.

At 3pm, the defendant was arrested by police.

During a search of Conlan, officers located three strips of Lyrica tablets and a further strip was found in the footwell.

The defendant was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital, where he consented to giving a sample of blood for testing.

Checks were made with the owner of the car, who informed police that Conlan did not have permission to drive the vehicle.

When his blood was tested, it showed a reading of 124mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

The defendant’s blood also showed presence of cocaine and pregabalin.

During interview, Conlan admitted to drink driving but told police “that’s it”.

Defence barrister Scott McWhinney stated: “This was a poor piece of judgement on his part. At the time he had been suffering mental health difficulties following the death of his uncle.

“He had taken to self-medicating for this and took the stupid decision to drive.”

He added: “There is a very helpful report which indicates he is suitable for community service. It must be accepted he does have a previous drink driving conviction from 2007 but this falls outside the 10 year period.”

District Judge Amanda Brady said: “You do have a record but it is just outside the 10 year period, however, this was a high reading and you also had cocaine and pregbalin in your system.”

Conlan was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

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