A TEMPO man who crashed into a parked car on the village’s main street has been convicted of careless driving.
Andrew Crozier (63) of Dooneen Road appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last Wednesday where he successfully contested charges of driving while unfit through drink or drugs and dangerous driving.
On April 7th last year police were called to a crash in Tempo. When they arrived at the scene they were told Crozier’s car had collided with an Audi before crossing over the road and colliding with a parked car. Both cars were significantly damaged, with one being “written off.”
A witness told police Crozier had been unsteady on his feet when he got out of his car, and had seemed “spaced out.” When he spoke to police the defendant appeared drowsy. He was breathalysed and passed the test.
Crozier told police he had swerved to avoid a lorry and his brakes had failed on his car, which he had only recently bought, causing him to collide with the other two cars. Police tested his car and while the brakes initially appeared fine, towards the end of the test they began to fail and it was discovered they were leaking fluid.
The defendant said he couldn’t remember what happened after as he had hit his head.
A blood test was then taken from Crozier that showed he had traces of diazepam, codeine and a sleeping drug in his system.
Defence solicitor Michael Fahy argued this blood test was invalid as there were continuity gaps between the sample being taken and it being sent to laboratory.
With regard dangerous driving, Mr Fahy said Crozier had been driving approximately 20mph, on a small street, and had been taking evasive action.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan said, due the break in the chain of evidence regarding the sample, he would have to exclude it from the case. He said while a witness observed Crozier was “spaced out”, he said he had to take into consideration the fact the defendant had said he had hit his head.
With regard the manner of his driving, Judge Ranaghan said while significant damage was caused he felt it was more a case “at the higher end” of careless driving and convicted him of that charge.
Crozier was fined £200 and given even seven penalty points.
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Posted: 2:22 pm February 13, 2019