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Motorist suspected of drink driving given 15-month ban after refusing to be breathalyzed

Court was told the defendant was a forklift driver and a disqualification would 'cause problems for his employment'

PSNI police drink driving

A Portadown man who refused to give a breath sample to police whilst suspected of drink driving has been handed a 15-month disqualification.

Court heard the 34-year-old was currently a forklift driver by trade and that this would “cause problems for his employment”.

Michael Gerard O’Hare, of Swallowfield Court, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath for a preliminary test, driving without due care or attention and failing to provide a specimen of breath for driving whilst unfit at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard that on May 5, at around 1am, police received a report of a possible drink driver in Portadown.

Witnesses claimed to see a black Seat Ibiza moving all over the road with the driver being a man in his thirties with a beard.

Ambulance staff watched the vehicle pull up to an address on Park Road, Portadown.

Police gained entry to the property and spoke to the defendant who matched the description given.

It was noted that O’Hare was unsteady on his feet, his reactions were slow and he smelled of alcohol.

The defendant was subsequently arrested and made no reply to caution.

O’Hare failed to given an initial breath sample of three occasions and was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite.

Whilst here he once more failed to given an evidential sample of breath despite being given numerous opportunities to do so.

Defence solicitor Brendan Hagan stated: “Mr O’Hare is a forklift driver by trade. This was an early morning detection. The previous day had been the first communion of his eldest child.

“They had been out for food and drinks but his wife, who was pregnant at the time, drove them home.”

He continued: “Mr O’Hare instructs he had three or four drinks at the licensed premises but after he came home he drank throughout the evening while watching TV.

“He then had this impulsiveness to drive to his in-laws, some two or three miles away. To give him credit he presented himself to police when they arrived.”

Mr Hagan stated: “He accepts that this was totally irresponsible. This will cause problems for his employment.

“I have informed him that he will get more than the minimum period your worship can impose.”

O’Hare was disqualified from driving for 15 months and ordered to pay a fine of £425, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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