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Three year ban for drink driver who collided with traffic lights in Newry

Defence - asking the district judge to be 'as lenient at possible' - said his client has no access to a vehicle now and has three young children

A woman who collided with traffic lights whilst over twice the limit has been given a three year ban for her second drink driving offence in 10 years.

The 35-year-old’s barrister told court: “She has no access to a vehicle now. She has three young children, she resides in the Downpatrick area and I would ask your worship to be as lenient as possible”.

Catherin McMillan, of Rossglass Road in Killough, had pleas of guilty entered on her behalf to driving with excess alcohol, being an unaccompanied L driver, not displaying L plates, using a vehicle without insurance and driving without due care or attention at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on April 5, at 11.40pm, police received a report of a one vehicle collision on the Dublin Road in Newry.

Officers arrived to find a Volkswagen Golf which had collided with two sets of traffic lights. The defendant, who was identified as the driver, appeared unsteady on her feet and smelled of intoxicating liquor.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail. Subsequent checks by police revealed that McMillan was the holder of a provisional licence only and was not displaying L plates.

The defendant was arrested and whilst in custody an evidential sample of breath was obtained which gave a reading of 90mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

Defence barrister Conor Byrne stated: “This was a plea at an early opportunity. The only issue which was contested has since been resolved.

“She has no access to a vehicle now. She has three young children, she resides in the Downpatrick area and I would ask your worship to be as lenient as possible.”

District Judge Eamonn King noted that McMillan had a previous conviction for drink driving from 2013, which fell within the 10 year limit.

The defendant was handed a conditional discharged for 12 months, was disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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