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Armagh motorist’s ‘few drinks over festive period’ led to Christmas Day crash in granny’s car

His defence remarked: 'He is a man of good character and this is an aberration in what is an unblemished record'

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An Armagh man who was found to be over the limit after he collided with another vehicle in his grandmother’s car, which he took without permission, has been handed an 18 month disqualification,

Court heard the incident occurred on Christmas Day, with the 20-year-old’s barrister telling the sitting his client had moved the car having “consumed a few drinks over the festive period”.

Dylan Calvin, of Alexander Drive, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, using a vehicle without insurance and aggravated vehicle taking causing damage at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

Prosecution outlined that on Christmas Day, at 8.20pm, police received a report of a road traffic collision on Ballynahone Avenue in Armagh.

Officers arrived to find that a red Seat car had collided with a nearby Nissan vehicle.

The defendant identified himself to the police as the driver of the Seat and made full admissions.

He also stated he had taken the vehicle without the permission of the owner, his grandmother.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail, with a subsequent evidential sample obtained in custody giving a reading of 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

During interview, it was noted that Calvin made full admissions to the offences before the court.

Defence barrister Scott McWhinney told court that his client was in active duty and had just recently returned from training in the United States.

He said: “This is not the highlight in his career. He is a young man with a good record. He had been at his grandmother’s home and had consumed a few drinks over the festive period.”

Mr McWhinney told court that Calvin made the “foolish decision” to move his grandmother’s car.

He added: “I ask that he is given credit for his early plea. He is a man of good character and this is an aberration in what is an unblemished record.”

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “I take into account your plea of guilty and your record of service, but you drove whilst over the limit, you were uninsured and by the statement of the complainant caused a couple of thousands pounds worth of damage.”

Calvin was disqualified from driving for a period of 18 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £600, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

In addition, the defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced by one quarter upon completion.

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