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Drink driver denied course after judge heard licence had expired 12 years ago

PSNI police drink driving

A Lurgan man has refused a drink driving course because his licence had expired more than a decade ago.

The judge ruled that the 54-year-old was not a suitable candidate for the course because his licence was 12 years out of date.

Brian Johnston, of Bowen’s Lane, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It was heard that on June 19, at 11.25pm, police stopped the defendant travelling on Bowen’s Lane in Lurgan.

Officers noted a strong smell of alcohol on Johnston and opted to conduct a preliminary breath test which resulted in a fail.

The defendant was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite where a reading of 68mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood was obtained.

Defence counsel stated: “This is a man with nothing on his record, he had been a self-employed car mechanic until nine years ago.

“This was due to health problems, he recently had to undergo an operation on his brain.”

He added: “On the night in question, he had gone to his former workshop, he consumed alcohol and made the decision to drive the half-mile home.

“He would also be a candidate for the drink driving course.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “His driving licence is 12 years out of date, he would have to be retested, he is not a suitable candidate”.

Johnston was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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