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Man crashed into telegraph pole whilst over limit after a ‘number of drinks’ at his brother’s house

His defence said his decision-making had been blurred by having a number of drinks and he decided to drive


A Warrenpoint man who collided with a telegraph pole after driving whilst over the limit has been handed a 12 month disqualification.

The 60-year-old’s barrister told court his client’s decision-making was “blurred” after consuming a number of drinks at his brother’s home.

John Patrick O’Hare, of Seaview, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol and driving without due care or attention at Newry Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Wednesday.

It was heard that the defendant had no previous offences for drink driving and had not had a road traffic matter since 2004.

Prosecution outlined that on May 24, at 11.15pm, police received a report of a one vehicle collision on Burren Hill, Burren.

Officers arrived to find that the vehicle in question had collided with a telegraph pole, causing damage to both.

They spoke to the defendant, who was nearby and admitted to being the driver.

A preliminary breath test was conducted at the roadside resulting in a fail; whilst in custody an evidential sample was taken giving a reading of 55mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence barrister Bobbie Rea stated: “This was a guilty plea from the outset, he showed full cooperation with the police and he has nothing previous.

“The case is he had been down at his brother’s delivering messages. He had been offered a drink by his brother and took a number of drinks.”

He added: “This blurred his decision-making and he decided to drive. There were no other vehicle involved in the collision.”

District Judge Amanda Henderson stated: “Given the reading, the early plea and the fact there is nothing on his record for 16 years, I will keep the disqualification to a minimum.”

O’Hare was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £450, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 15 weeks.

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

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