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Disqualification for Armagh man who refused to give breath test until his solicitor was present

Defence said his client's decision to get behind wheel a 'moment of madness'

Drink-driving Armagh courthouse

An Armagh man who refused to submit to a police breathalyser test until his solicitor was present has been handed a 12-month disqualification for drink driving.

A district judge told the 30-year-old: “It is a shame to see someone with a clear record before this court.”

Patrick Mone, of Market Street, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on November 24, at 11.50am, the defendant was stopped by police at a vehicle checkpoint on the Mowhan Road, driving a Citroen Berlingo.

Mone was asked to submit to a preliminary breath test but refused stating he would not do so without his solicitor present.

He was given four further opportunities but continued to refuse and was subsequently arrested.

The defendant did later give a sample whilst in custody which gave a reading of 83mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence counsel stated: “It was a moment of madness that Mr Mone decided to get behind the wheel of a car.”

Court heard the defendant had no record and appeared before the court with a clean licence.

Defence counsel said: “Mr Mone works full time as a sales advisor, this means he regularly has to drive but he appreciates he won’t be driving after today.”

District Judge Peter Magill stated: “You are given credit for your guilty plea, although many would say you had little choice.

“It is a shame to see someone with a clear record before this court.”

Mone was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.

The defendant was also certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months if completed.

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