Lochside Garage

Drunk Lisnaskea driver (22) crashed into ditch


Enniskillen Magistrates Court

A YOUNG driver who crashed into a ditch after drinking with friends has been banned from driving and ordered to retake his test.
Jack Fitzpatrick (22) of Berrylane, Aghalurcher Road, Lisnaskea, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit.
On July 30, at around 6.20am, police received a report about a black Ford Focus in a ditch at the Ballagh Cross Road, Lisnaskea, with its wheels in the air.
When police arrived two men ran off from the car, but the defendant then returned and told the officers he’d been the driver.
Fitzpatrick’s speech seemed slurred, and he was arrested on suspicion of driving when unfit through drink or drugs. He was arrested and when brought to the police station he returned a reading of 83 micrograms per 100ml of breath.
Defence solicitor Myles McManus said Fitzpatrick, who lives at home and works at a local quarry, had been out socialising with friends on the night in question but had stopped drinking for “a prolonged period of time” before going home, believing he would be OK.
Mr McManus said the defendant had explained that there’d been loose chippings on the road and his speed had been very low at the time, stating if he’d been driving any faster the car would’ve ended up in the field not the ditch. Mr McManus added there’d been two other men in the car with Fitzpatrick, but no one was injured in the crash.
The solicitor pointed out to the court Fitzpatrick had been very candid with police and had made full admissions at the scene. He said if the defendant hadn’t “put his hands up” the police would’ve had no evidence he was driving.
Mr McManus then said Fitzpatrick’s breath reading was “not the highest” he’d seen. District Judge Nigel Broderick pointed out it was more than twice the legal limit, and said he’d had two passengers in the car with him. The judge pointed out if anyone had been injured or killed in the crash Fitzpatrick would now be standing in front of a jury facing a significant custodial sentence.  Stating he was “fortunate in that sense”, Judge Broderick disqualified for 16 months, until retested, and certified him for the drink driving course. Fitzpatrick was also fined £300.

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