Drink-driver found in Donaghcloney 'appeared to be asleep'

Drink-driver found in Donaghcloney 'appeared to be asleep'

Donaghcloney.

Staff reporter

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Friday 1 July 2022 22:00

A Judge has explained that the human body is not a distillery after a defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of driving with excess alcohol in breath.

The case of Ann Gregory, (56), of Olde Forge, Magheralin, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, June 29.

The court heard that on February 24 this year, police received a report of a white coloured vehicle being driven in the area of Banbridge, with the driver suspected to be under the influence.

A short time later, a further report was received that the vehicle was parked on Main Street, Donaghcloney, with the driver appearing to be asleep.

Police observed the vehicle being parked off the road outside shops, located the defendant in the driver’s seat and noticed damage to the front near side and a flat tyre.

The defendant identified herself, her eyes were glazed and her speech was slurred, and when she was asked to exit the vehicle, she was unsteady on her feet.

An evidential sample of breath read 118 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

In her defence, the court was told that Gregory has to accept she has an issue and has had drastic changes in the last few years, as well as caring for her partner and mother.

It was added that the client had lost her job due to the pandemic and is seeking help to address her issues.

Ms Downey, defending, added that her client works as a community carer and that she is willing to complete community service and is keen to work with Community Addictions.

After reading a pre-sentence report, District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “Ms Gregory, hopefully from this you will gather that none of the excuses that you have put forward are acceptable.

“They are exactly that – excuses.

“Until you yourself accept that you have a serious problem, you will not be in a position to either seek or obtain or get the appropriate help you need.

“The difficulty I have is that you are putting other human beings at risk when you engage in this behaviour and that’s what I cannot have.”

The Judge imposed a four month custodial sentence, suspended for three years for the offence.

In addition, the defendant was disqualified for four years until re-tested to take into account for her third drink driving charge in the last twenty years.

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