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Drink driver who crashed BMW into hedge then fell asleep had two empty Buckfast bottles in car

He was told he was being jailed 'more for the protection of the public than your rehabilitation at this point'

A man who crashed into a hedge whilst over twice the limit has been sentenced to three months in prison and disqualified for four years.

Court heard the 26-year-old was found asleep in the driver’s seat of the car with two empty bottles of Buckfast located in the passenger footwell.

Mark Branagan, of Whitehall Road, Aghagallon, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard that on March 19, police received a report of a crash and a suspected drink driver on the Inn Road, Dollingstown.

Officers arrived to find a BMW in a hedgerow with rear out on the road and the engine running.

They approached the vehicle to find the defendant asleep in the driver’s seat.

Police tried to rouse Branagan and when they eventually did he appeared confused.

It was noted that there were two empty bottles of Buckfast in the passenger footwell.

The defendant smelled strongly of alcohol and a preliminary breath test was conducted, resulting in a fail.

He was conveyed to Dungannon Custody Suite where a reading of 102mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “His first drink driving offence goes back to 2012 and he has another coming up dated May 3.

“This cannot be ignored, you repeatedly go out and drive with alcohol on board.”

Branagan was sentenced to three months in prison and was disqualified from driving for four years.

District Judge Kelly commented: “This is more for the protection of the public than your rehabilitation at this point.”

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