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Killylea drink driver ‘took a chance’ resulting in crossroads collision

The defendant's vehicle sustained 'extensive damage' and the other vehicle was also damaged

A Killylea man who pulled out in front of another car whilst twice the legal drink drive limit has been banned from driving for 14 months.

The case of Keith Desmond Wright, of Killylea Road, was heard at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry Courthouse on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old, who appeared via videolink from his solicitor’s office, was pleading guilty to one charge of driving with excess alcohol in breath.

The court heard that at approximately 11:10pm on March 28 this year, police attended a two-vehicle road traffic collision at a crossroads on the Battleford Road outside Armagh.

The defendant had been driving along the Maydown Road towards the Battleford Road. At the junction, the defendant claimed to have observed another vehicle flash their lights, making him believe they were letting him pass.

The defendant then continued to drive across the Battleford Road, before the other vehicle collided into its rear offside.

The defendant’s vehicle sustained “extensive damage” and the other vehicle was also damaged.

Police spoke to the defendant, who smelled of intoxicating liquor and had slurred speech, and a preliminary breath test carried out resulted in a fail.

He was taken to Dungannon custody, where he returned a reading of 70 microgrammes of alcohol per 100mls of breath – the legal limit in Northern Ireland is 35 microgrammes of alcohol.

Ronan McCourt, defending, said that the incident was an “aberration” on the part of the defendant, who had been driving for 40 years with an “unblemished” licence.

He added that the defendant had believed that it was OK to pull out and had remained at the scene of the accident.

“He took a chance that he knows he shouldn’t have taken,” said defence.

District Judge Anne Marshall said that it was a “significant collision”, noting that the defendant was twice the drink driving limit.

District Judge Marshall fined Wright £300 and disqualified him from driving for 14 months.

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