Businessman banned for being more than three times the limit

A RETIRED Enniskillen businessman who was more than three times over the limit when he crashed his jeep has been banned from driving for a year, with a judge citing character references as the reason his ban was not longer.
Marshall Coalter (59) appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his blood and failing to report an accident. Coalter’s address was noted on the charge sheet as the Horseshoe/Saddlers Bar, Belmore Street, however in court it was stated he lived on Algeo Drive in the town.
On March 2nd last year police received a report of a suspected drunk driver in Enniskillen, followed by a report a red jeep had crashed at Algeo Drive. The officers were told the driver, Coalter, was “so drunk he was hardly fit to stand.”
Police attended the scene and called to Coalter’s home nearby. He was not home as his family, concerned for him as he had a medical condition, had brought him to SWAH for assessment following the crash, which had not involved any other vehicles. Police took the air bags of the jeep, which had deployed, away for DNA analysis.
A blood alcohol test was carried out on Coalter, which returned a reading of 268 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres.
Defence solicitor Niall Bogue said the incident had happened last March and Coalter had not been interviewed until September, when he admitted the offences. The solicitor said the issue had been hanging over the defendant since, which he had found very stressful.
Mr Bogue said Coalter had since effectively voluntarily disqualified himself from driving after the incident, as he had not driven since. He said on the day of the crash Coalter had attended a local health club and afterwards had gone into the hotel where he drank alcohol. He then took the decision to drive home.
Mr Bogue, who handed in character references and a medical report, added Coalter was “extremely highly regarded in the local community” and would have “no issue paying his fines.”
District Judge Mark McGarrity said, given what he had read, he would keep sentencing to a minimum. He disqualified Coalter from driving for 12 months, until retested, and certified him for the drink driving course, which will reduce his ban by 25 percent once completed. Judge McGarrity also fined him £500 and endorsed five penalty points on his licence.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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