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Man who claimed to have had one pint handed 12 month driving ban

Drink-driving Armagh courthouse

A Mountnorris man who claimed he had consumed “one pint” has been handed a 12-month ban after being caught drink driving.

Court heard the 23-year-old declined the statuary option of a blood or urine test with his solicitor claiming that if the defendant had legal representation at the time he possibly would not be before the court.

Caolan Traynor, of Cusher Green, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at the city’s Magistrates’ on Tuesday.

It was heard that on April 13, at around 2am, police observed a van on the Coolmillish Road, Markethill, make a right turn entering the wrong side of the road.

Officers stopped the vehicle and spoke to the defendant.

They noted a smell of alcohol and asked Traynor if he had been drinking.

He told police that he had a pint.

At 2.15am, a preliminary breath test was submitted resulting in a fail.

When cautioned for the offence, Traynor stated: “But I only had a pint”.

In custody, a reading of 42mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.

The defendant declined the statuary option of a blood or urine test.

Defence solicitor John Murphy stated: “He didn’t have the benefit of legal representation; if he did he possibly would not be before the court today.

“He genuinely thought he was below the limit and was fully co-operative with police.”

Deputy District Judge Peter King commented: “This is a case for the minimal penalty, I am obliged to impose a 12-month disqualification”.

Traynor was handed a 12-month ban and ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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

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