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Twelve month ban for man who drove after consuming drink ‘which contained drugs’

Defence said: 'He accepts that he took drugs the day before this incident voluntarily but he on this day took a drink from a friend which contained further drugs'

A County Armagh man who drove whilst unfit, after consuming a drink provided by a friend which he believed to have contained drugs, has been handed a 12 month ban.

The 23-year-old’s barrister told court: “He accepts that in either case he should not have been driving…he is now a maturing man and does not wish to be back before the court.”

Matthew Minish, of Derryane Road, had a guilty plea entered to driving whilst unfit at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on July 10, at 11.45pm, police received a report of a Black Audi A4 being driven “all over the road” in the vicinity of Dungannon Road, Portadown.

Officers later observed the same car parked at a GO garage on the Armagh Road. It was noted that the vehicle was positioned tight to the pump and the driver was struggling to get out.

The driver was identified as the defendant. Due to his presentation and the previous reports police conducted a preliminary breath test which he passed.

A subsequent impairment test led officers to believe that Minish was under the influence of another substance.

He was conveyed to Lurgan Custody Suite, where an evidential sample was taken for forensic analysis.

Defence barrister David McKeown stated: “He accepts that he took drugs the day before this incident voluntarily but he on this day took a drink from a friend which contained further drugs.

“He accepts that in either case he should not have been driving…he is now a maturing man and does not wish to be back before the court.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly disqualified the defendant from driving for 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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