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Armagh man handed 15 month driving ban after failing to provide specimen to police

He was told: 'We simply don't know how much alcohol you had in your system so the minimum disqualification of 12 months is not available to you'

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man suspected of drink driving has been disqualified for 15 months after failing to provide a specimen of breath to police.

The deputy district judge told the 38-year-old, who had no record: “We simply don’t know how much alcohol you had in your system and so the minimum disqualification of 12 months is not available to you.”

Niall McVerry, of Newtownhamilton Road, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath in relation to excess alcohol at the City’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

It was heard that on June 14, at 11.30pm, police on the Loughall Road watched the defendant’s vehicle swerving on the road breaching the central line before coming to an abrupt stop.

They followed as the vehicle continued and turned into a filling station without indicating.

Officers spoke to McVerry noting that his eyes were glazed and his speech slurred.

Police also observed a number of Magners cans in the passenger footwell of his vehicle.

The defendant was taken to Dungannon Custody Suite where he refused to give a specimen of breath and asked to speak with a solicitor.

Following this, he asked to give a specimen of blood but failed to co-operate.

Defence solicitor Peter Murphy stated: “Mr McVerry has been driving for 17 years. He was tired at the time which is what he puts his driving down to but he accepts he consumed beers.

“This is a man with no other entries on his record.”

Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare said: “Your solicitor has made it clear you are a man with no record and someone who has never been in trouble before.

“However, we simply don’t know how much alcohol you had in your system and so the minimum disqualification of 12 months is not available to you.”

McVerry was disqualified from driving for 15 months and ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which could see his ban reduced by one quarter.

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