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Man found sleeping at wheel of car in garage forecourt refused to give police sample

Defence said flat tyre led client to pull in and he drank bottle of wine before falling asleep

A Portadown man who refused to give a breath sample to police after being found asleep at a petrol station has been denied certification for the drink-driving course.

The district judge stated: “I make a differentiation between those who cooperate with police and those who do not in these cases.”

William Granleese, 34, of Wentworth Green, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath to police at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on September 6, at 8.02am, police were contacted about a suspected drink driver asleep at the wheel of a Nissan Duke at Patterson’s petrol station, Gilford Road.

Officers arrived at 8.42am and identified the driver as the defendant who had the keys to the vehicle on him.

Court heard CCTV footage showed Granleese’s car enter the premises at 5.39am.

When awoken by police the defendant struggled to stand and headbutted a body worn camera.

Officers noted that Granleese’s speech was slurred and he smelt of intoxicating liquor.

A preliminary breath test gave a reading of 49mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath and the defendant was brought to Banbridge Custody Suite.

It was reported that Granleese failed to provide an evidential reading in custody on four separate occasions.

Defence counsel stated on the night in question the defendant had got into an argument with his wife and gone for a drive.

He said Granleese pulled into the petrol station due to a flat tyre and had consumed a bottle of wine which had been inside the car before falling asleep.

He also noted that the reading was “not the highest” but accepted the defendant had not made a “big enough effort” when providing a sample in custody.

When asked about certification for the drink driving course District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “I make a differentiation between those who cooperate with police and those who do not in these cases.”

Granleese was handed a 12-month disqualification and ordered to a pay a fine of £350, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.

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