A BELLANALECK man has been disqualified from driving after he went to pick up one of his children while almost three time the legal limit.
Roy Johnston (55) of Thornton Villas in the village appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to drink driving.
On November 25th police were driving on the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen when they saw Johnston’s turn onto the road from Derrin Road. Both police and Johnston were driving in the direction of the Cherrymount Roundabout.
Police then noticed Johnston’s car swerve and drifting on to the centre of the road. They stopped and spoke to the defendant, noting his speech was slurred. Johnston was arrested and when tested at the police station returned an evidential reading of 102 micrograms per 100ml of breath, the legal limit being 35.
Defence solicitor Garry Smyth said Johnston had been dealing with issues in his life at the time of the offence. He added the defendant struggled with alcohol and had also had medical issues.
Mr Smyth said on the evening in question Johnston had not intended to drive, but one of his children then required a lift. He said Johnston, who cooperated with police, regretted his decision to drive.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan said Johnston had a very relevant record, stating this was his sixth relevant conviction. Mr Smyth said the last directly relevant entry on his record was from 10 years ago, while the most recent was a charge of being drunk in charge, rather than driving, after he’d been detected by police while getting tobacco from his car.
Judge Ranaghan said Johnston’s reading had been “excessively high” and had “a predilection for driving or attempting to drive while under the influence.” As such, he said imposing the minimum disqualification would be “inappropriate” and would send out the wrong message.
Johnston was disqualified from driving for 20 months and fined £200.
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