Police were on mobile patrol at 3.25am on December 24th last at Main Street in Maguiresbridge when they observed a Vauxhall Astra being driven by Alan Morrison .
His car was in front of the police patrol car and officers noted that he swerved and nearly collided with another vehicle. The Astra then attempted to execute a U-turn at a bus stop before police blocked its path and stopped it.
Police approached Morrison and detected a smell of intoxicating liquor and that he was unsteady on his feet. When breathalysed, he failed a preliminary breath test but when he later delivered an evidential breath test at Enniskillen Police Station, it returned a reading of 64 micrograms per 100ml of breath – 29 micrograms over the drink driving limit.
Morrison (50) of Bunnahesco Road in Lisnaskea was also found to have been driving while disqualified having been banned last year for 18 months. He was also behind the wheel without insurance and was charged with these offences along with drink driving.
Defending solicitor Neil Ferguson claimed his client was not driving as erratically at the time as described but accepted that he was over the legal drink drive limit. Mr Ferguson said Morrison had been out with a friend who had driven his car to Maguiresbridge and then left the defendant to go out with friends in Enniskillen.
“My client was left by himself on one of the busiest nights of the year to get a taxi. When he was unable to secure one, he took the law into his own hands and idiotically drove his car. He puts himself at the mercy of the court and knows it was a stupid thing to do. He apologises for his behaviour,” Mr Ferguson added.
Sentencing Morrison, District Judge Nigel Broderick told him: “It was a very stupid thing to do as you were both disqualified and drunk.
If you had caused an accident that resulted in injuries or a fatality, you could be facing jail. Thankfully police intervened and put a stop to this.”
Morrison was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and banned from driving for three years until retested.