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Drink driver ‘was to stay over at work colleague’s house’ but his wife asked them all to leave

The defendant, who crashed into another car driving home, said his friend's wife took umbrage at the presence of himself and fellow staff at 3am

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A man who collided with another vehicle after post-work drinks has been handed an 18 month disqualification.

Court heard the 29-year-old had planned on staying at a friend’s house but was told to leave after his wife took umbrage at the presence of himself and fellow staff.

Shaun Tinman, of Victoria Drive in Bangor, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on February 17, at 2.52am, police received a report of a Volvo estate being driven erratically in the Donaghcloney area, with it almost colliding with a wall.

At 3.10am, police were called to a road traffic collision on the Scarva Road, Banbridge.

The Volvo had collided with another vehicle after ignoring a Give Way sign.

Police conducted a preliminary breath test on the driver, who was identified as the defendant, which resulted in a fail.

An evidential sample of breath was obtained at Musgrave Police Station which gave a reading of 86mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

When questioned, Tinman answered honestly, saying he had been in the pub before going to a friend’s house and knew he should not have been in the car.

Defence counsel stated: “He had finished a long shift at work, he had gone to a friend’s house with other staff and had planned on staying over.

“The friend’s wife took umbrage at the people there at 3 o’clock in the morning and asked them to leave. He felt like he had no option.”

District Judge Mark McGarrity said: “I will give you credit for your guilty plea but the fact that there was a collision does aggravate the matter.”

Tinman was disqualified from driving for 18 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced by one quarter upon completion.

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