A 29-year-old Enniskillen father who drove on the wrong side of the road as he left two children to school has been banned from driving for three years after he was convicted of drink driving on two separate occasions.
Ryan Corrigan, of Drumgay Close, admitted he had been drinking the day before after watching a football match.
He was convicted of an litany of driving offences including dangerous driving, drink driving, being drunk while in charge of a child, failing to stop where an accident occurred causing damage, failing to remain where an accident caused damage, failing to provide a specimen and driving unfit and carrying a child under the age of 14 without a seat belt.
He was banned from driving for three year, was handed 100 hours of community service as well as advised to go on a Thinking Skills course and any recommended programme by probation. He was fined £450.
A prosecutor explained that on November 24, last year, police received a report from another driver about a man who failed to stop at the scene of an accident.
The woman told police that the other driver was coming towards her on her side of the road. She flashed her lights and he pulled back to his side at the last minute but their wing mirrors collided.
She then followed the car as she saw two children travelling inside.
One of the children was sitting on the foot-well without a seat belt while the other was sitting in the back seat.
She suspected the driver was drunk so contacted police.
The driver, who was identified as the defendant, drove off towards Lisbellaw.
Details of his car were circulated and a police vehicle near Maguiresbridge met Corrigan coming around the bend on the wrong side of the road. He was stopped and tested however he failed and was arrested and taken to Enniskillen police station. He failed to provide a sample for his alcohol reading.
A number of months prior to the incident, on April 8, police in Enniskillen suspected a drink driver in the town after spotting him on CCTV driving along Halls Lane.
The driver, later identified as Corrigan, was driving a Vauxhall and wearing a red and white T-shirt.
Officers were on patrol in the area when they spotted the car parked outside The Roadhouse bar.
The head lights were switched on and two men were seen in the vehicle.
The driver was identified as the defendant and he was wearing the same clothes given in the description.
Officers found that Corrigan was slurring his words and a preliminary breath test was carried out.
He failed this and was taken to Enniskillen Police Station.
An evidential reading showed he had 83mg of alcohol in breath, over double the legal limit.
Defence solicitor Garry Smyth explained to the court that a breakdown in his relationship “unfortunately appeared” to have caused him some anxiety.
“The first incident on April 8, the defendant got himself into a situation where he had taken too much alcohol. He had no previous convictions.
“It has to be accepted that that the reading is not in the low category. He does not have the car anymore as it was seized by police. He was disqualified from driving as soon as he entered a plea and has been adhering to that. “
Mr Smyth stated that the second incident involved issues in his personal life.
“He was watching football the previous afternoon and carried on socialising and took a considerable amount of alcohol. This incident happened on the Monday morning.
“No damage was caused to the third party and he regrets the incident.
“Thankfully no injuries were sustained.”
District Judge Nigel Broderick told Corrigan: “One thing that strikes me is that he has maintained he does not have a problem with alcohol. But I believe it’s the complete opposite to that. He’s before me on two separate charges involving alcohol.
“You have heard what I said. You strike me as someone who does have a alcohol problem from a number of previous entries on your record.
“These are serious matters. To have children on board and driving towards a school where there are more children is an aggravating feature in this case.”
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