A 43-YEAR-OLD man has been banned from driving for 18 months after he was caught giving another man a lift home uninsured and while three times over the legal drink driving limit.
Aiden Shannon of Kinmeen North in Derrylin appeared before Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with drink driving and no insurance.
The court heard that at 1.40am on December 5th, police were on patrol at Main Street, Derrylin when they stopped a white Citroen Berlingo van being driven by Shannon.
Police noted that Shannon’s speech was slurred and his breath smelled of alcohol. When arrested and tested at Enniskillen Police Station, Shannon returned a reading of 93 micrograms per 100ml of breath. The legal drink driving limit is 35 micrograms.
Defence solicitor Niall Bogue said the incident had arisen out of “an unfortunate turn of events” after his client had been taking another man home at the end of a night in the pub.
“My client drove the other gentleman home in the man’s car. This man was heavily intoxicated and became unwell so the defendant was being a ‘Good Samaritan’. An ambulance had been called for the other gentleman but as the distance involved was only a matter of yards, my client decided to drive him home himself.”
Mr Bogue added that Shannon had been driving for 23 years with no previous convictions or penalty points.
District Judge Nigel Broderick pointed out that Shannon was three times over the limit at the time of his detection.
“To get behind the wheel while three times over the limit beggars belief. In effect he was jeopardising his life, that of his passenger and anyone else on the road at the time.”
Mr Bogue added: “He was highly misguided and unfortunately had a very high reading but given the state of the other gentleman and the fact that there was nowhere else to go, he believed he had no other option.”
The judge said in view of the circumstances, he must convict Shannon and said: “While he appeared to be providing help to an individual who was unwell, in hindsight he should have rang an ambulance straight away. Sadly he will now have to pay a high price.”
Shannon was disqualified for 18 months until retested and fined £300 for drink driving. Mr Broderick also certified the defendant as a suitable candidate for the drink-driving course. A further £100 fine and concurrent six month driving ban was also issued on the no insurance charge.
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