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Man escapes three-year driving ban by two days for second drink driving conviction

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A Co. Down man has escaped a mandatory three-year ban for drink driving because his latest indiscretion fell two days after the relevant period.

Court heard that this offence came 10 years and two days after the 52-year-old’s previous conviction.

Alan Morrison, of Mill Pond Manor in Hillsborough, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on November 10, police received a report of a road traffic collision on the Waringstown Road, Lurgan.

The defendant’s white BMW had collided with the rear of another car, as is protocol a preliminary breath test was carried out resulting in a fail.

Morrison was taken to custody, where an evidential sample gave a reading of 51mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence counsel stated: “He had been at a friend’s house, he had consumed alcohol and food, he thought he had left it long enough to drive.

“The loss of his licence with have massive consequences, he lives in outside Hillsborough area and his son who is 16 goes to school in Belfast, he will have to get two buses to get to school”.

He added: “Mr Morrison has health difficulties, he is waiting on heart surgery as he has an irregular heartbeat.

“He does have a previous relevant entry on his record but that was 10 years and two days prior to the commission of this offence”.

District Judge Steven Keown said: “It is not the highest reading, he is very lucky that it fell just outside the mandatory three year disqualification.

“Given the 10 year gap, I will keep it to a minimum”.

Morrison was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which will see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.

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