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Drink driver who overturned car on M1 after falling asleep at the wheel gets 12 month ban

Police arrived to find a Mitsubishi on its roof having crashed into the central reservation barrier on the motorway

A man who was found to be over the legal drink drive limit after overturning his vehicle on the M1 has been handed a 12 month disqualification.

The 22-year-old’s barrister told court that, during interview, his client had confessed to having fallen asleep at the wheel which led to the collision.

William Harkness, of Randox Road in Crumlin, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and dangerous driving at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on September 20, at 5.50am, police received reports from the ambulance service of a one vehicle collision on the M1, Portadown.

Officers arrived to find a Mitsubishi overturned on its roof having crashed into the central reservation barrier on the motorway.

This defendant was being treated by ambulance staff and admitted to being the driver at the time of the collision.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail, with an evidential sample of blood obtained in custody giving a reading of 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the limit being 80mg.

Defence barrister Conor Holmes outlined that his client appeared before the court with no record and commented that this was “not the highest of readings”.

He also revealed that, during interview, Harkness had confessed to having fallen asleep at the wheel which led to the collision.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes disqualified the defendant from driving for a period of 12 months and ordered him to pay a fine of £350, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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

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