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Motorist pays ‘heavy price’ with 14 month ban after being detected just over the limit after accident

His defence remarked: 'This is as low a reading as one can get'

Drink-driving Armagh courthouse

An Armagh man has “paid a heavy price” after he was found just over the legal limit following an accident.

The 20-year-old was handed a 14 month disqualification as his barrister commented: “This is as low a reading as one can get.”

Andrew Megarity, of Markethill Road, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in blood at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

It was heard that on June 2, police were passed at speed by a car on the Gosford Road, Armagh.

Officers followed the vehicle to find it crashed into a bank with the defendant by the driver’s door.

A preliminary breath test was carried out on Megarity resulting in a fail.

The defendant was subsequently taken to Dungannon Custody Suite where a reading of 42mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.

He then elected for blood to be taken and after analysis this was shown to have 82mg of alcohol in 100ml – the limit being 80mg.

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon commented: “This is as low a reading as one can get.”

District Judge Rosie Watters stated: “But he did have an accident. It really hits home how driving with 35mg of alcohol in breath or 80mg in blood can impair your driving.”

Mr Lannon said: “Mr Megarity had a long day at work. He went to the pub with friends and had a small amount of drink.

“He has paid a heavy price as he will lose his employment.”

District Judge Watters commented that because this incident involved an accident the minimum disqualification would not be applied.

Megarity was disqualified from driving for 14 months and ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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

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