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Over-the-limit plasterer took brother’s DLA car to drive home after St Patrick’s night drinks

A witness reported seeing defendant mount a traffic island and drive in the wrong direction on a road

Drink driving Craigavon Court

A Lurgan man has been handed a 15-month disqualification after taking the risk of driving home after drinking on St Patrick’s night.

Court heard the 31-year-old was spotted by a member of the public who saw him mount a traffic island and driving in the wrong direction down a road.

Donal McCarron, of Ennis Green, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that on March 17, at around 9pm, police received a report of a suspected drink driver on Sugar Island Road, Craigavon.

Officers arrived on Monbrief East Road to find a Seat vehicle parked up on the side of the road with its engine running and the defendant standing in front of it.

A witness, who had followed McCarron, said they had observed him mount a traffic island and drive in the wrong direction on a road.

They also claimed the defendant had told them not to tell the police as he had taken a few beers and was only a few miles from home.

A preliminary breath test resulted in a fail and an evidential sample taken in custody gave a reading of 97mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Pat Vernon stated: “He is a plasterer by trade. This was his brother’s DLA car and Mr McCarron is the registered driver.”

Explaining the incident, Mr Veran said: “It was Saint Patrick’s night, he had gone to his father’s house for drinks and had fully intended on getting a taxi.

“But when it came to it he couldn’t get one and foolishly made the decision to drive home.”

He added: “This will have a big impact on his life. He will not be able to drive his brother around and as a self-employed plasterer he will not be able to drive between different sites.”

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay stated: “97 in breath is well in excess of the higher disqualification reading.

“Circumstances suggest an 18-month disqualification but I will give you credit for your guilty plea and the matters addressed by counsel.”

McCarron was handed a 15-month driving ban and was ordered to pay a fine of £300, 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 by one quarter if completed.

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