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Suspended sentence for man who failed to comply with breath test

He failed to give a reading despite numerous opportunities and attempted to eat chips and smoke as it was carried out

A Newry man who refused to comply with a preliminary breath test whilst found over twice the limit in charge of a vehicle has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

The 56-year-old’s solicitor informed court: “He has a number of court appearances all of which are connected to his drinking.”

Dominic McGahan, of Ardkeeragh Road, had pleas of guilty entered to resisting police, failing to provide a preliminary smaple of breath and in charge with excess alcohol at the city’s Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecution outlined that on May 1, police received a report from a member of the public regarding a male who appeared intoxicated entering a vehicle on Warrenpoint Road, Newry.

Upon arrival, officers located this defendant in the driver’s seat of a Volkswagen Golf. The keys were in the ignition but the engine was off.

McGahan’s eyes were observed to be glazed and he avoided answering police questions, demanding to know who had reported him.

He initially refused to provide a preliminary breath sample, but opted to comply after being told this was an offence.

The defendant failed to give a reading despite numerous opportunities, attempting to eat chips and smoke as this was carried out.

When cautioned, McGahan replied: “I’m so sick of this.”

The defendant refused to get out of the vehicle and had to be removed by police. He was verbally and physically abusive resisting his arrest.

Whilst in custody, an evidential sample of breath was obtained which gave a reading of 73mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath- over twice the legal limit.

Defence solicitor Gerard Trainor stated: “This is a man with a very serious drink problem. He has attend Cuan Mhuire on a number of occasions.

“He has a number of court appearances all of which are connected to his drinking.”

District Judge Eamonn King sentenced McGahan to four months in prison suspended for two years.

In addition, the defendant was disqualified from driving for one year and ordered to pay a fine of £450, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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