Car seen "driving across the road", court hears

Car seen "driving across the road", court hears

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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A defendant has pleaded guilty to an offence of driving when unfit through drink or drugs.

The case of Elaine Margaret Fowler, (54), of Riverview Park, Omagh, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, June 29.

The court heard that on Christmas Day last year, police received a report by a member of the public of a suspected drunk driver travelling along the M1 motorway and then onto the North Way, Portadown.

The reporting person observed the vehicle was driving all over the road and it was further reported that the car was stationary at a petrol garage in Portadown.

A short time later, officers noticed the vehicle matching the description provided at the petrol station and spoke with the defendant who was in the driver’s seat.

Whilst speaking to Fowler, officers observed her eyes were glazed and she suddenly began to act irrationally by screaming at police and lashing out at an interior mirror and kicking out at the vehicle’s interior door panel in an agitated state.

During interview, she accepted she was the driver at the time and accepted that her driving ability was impaired.

Fowler explained that she was prescribed medication that she had taken some time prior to driving and suddenly felt drowsy behind the wheel before bringing the car to a stop.

In her defence, the court was told that Fowler made full admissions about her driving being impaired, with all drugs found in her blood sample being within the therapeutic range. It was added that it wasn’t a case of the defendant taking an excess of what she was prescribed or taking illicit drugs.

District Judge Bernie Kelly imposed a fine of £350 and a 12 month disqualification until re-tested for the offence.

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