A Craigavon man who drove off after colliding with another vehicle has been handed a 15-month ban for his second drink driving offence.
The judge told the 62-year-old: “This is your second time in court for this serious matter, it was aggravated this time by you driving off.”
Geoff Donaghy, of Old Court Lodge, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in breath, failing to stop, failing to remain and failing to report an accident at the Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
It was heard that on August 10, at around 11.30pm, police received a report of a hit and run road traffic collision on Victoria Street in Lurgan.
The injured party was able to give a partial vehicle registration of car involved but after information was obtained from members of the public a full description was gained.
Checks showed the vehicle to be an Audi A6 and police attended the home of the last registered owner of the car.
Officers arrived at the property to find the vehicle in the drive way with damage to driver side.
They spoke to the defendant – the register owner – who admitted to drinking and driving.
A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.
Donaghy was subsequently arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite were an evidential reading of 52mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.
During interview, the defendant made admissions to drinking before he had driven on Victoria Street in Lurgan.
Donaghy said he had been involved in a collision but thought he had only collided with the wing mirror of the other vehicle.
Defence counsel stated: “Mr Donaghy had not realised that what he had consumed would have taken him over the limit.”
Deputy District Judge Brian Archer commented: “This is a man with previous, you would have thought he would be more careful, he is just lucky it is outside the ten year period.”
Donaghy’s legal representative said: “He accepts that the alcohol did impair his driving, he accepts that disqualification is inevitable but fortunately no one was hurt.
“His other drink driving conviction was in 2006, at that time his wife had been dying with cancer, that is no excuse but he wanted me to give some background.”
Judge Archer stated: “Mr Donaghy this is your second time in court for this serious matter, it was aggravated this time by you driving off.
“If the injured party had not got your details right you might have got away with it.”
Donaghy was disqualified from driving for 15 months and ordered to pay a fine of £700, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.