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Year long ban for drink driver ‘left traumatised’ after she crashed into telegraph pole

The deputy district judge remarked: 'She is lucky that she collided with a telegraph pole and not a car full of kids because then everyone would have been traumatised'

A woman who was left “traumatised” after she collided with a telegraph pole whilst drink driving has been handed a 12 month disqualification.

Sentencing the 20-year-old, the deputy district judge commented: “She is lucky that she collided with a telegraph pole and not a car full of kids because then everyone would have been traumatised.”

Sophie Andrews, of Donaghaguy Road, Warrenpoint pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on March 11, at 2.55am, police received a report of a one vehicle collision on the Cornakinnegar Road, Lurgan, from a member of the public.

Officers arrived to find a Vauxhall Corsa which had collided with a telegraph pole. There was blood on the boot but no driver was at the scene.

Police later located this defendant, identified as the driver, at an address in Lurgan.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail, with an evidential sample of breath taken in custody giving a reading of 43mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the limit being 35mg.

During interview, Andrews made full admissions, stating that she had left the scene as she had “panicked” and was “extremely sorry”.

Defence solicitor Bernadette Rafferty explained how her client had contacted police upon her arrival at the address in Lurgan.

She stated: “This wee girl has not so much as a parking ticket and this incident has traumatised her.”

The solicitor added that it was alcohol in Andrews’ system, combined with her inexperience in driving in freezing conditions, which had led to the collision.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes stated: “I accept that this is a plea at the first opportunity. She is young, she has no record and I accept she has been traumatised by the incident.

“But she is lucky that she collided with a telegraph pole and not a car full of kids because then everyone would have been traumatised.”

Andrews was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see her ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.

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