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‘Very high reading’ for Newry man caught drink driving in ‘morning after case’

Defence said it was a 'morning after case' with his client going to the shops after drinking the night before

Newry courthouse police

A Newry man who was caught driving whilst over twice the legal limit in a “morning after case” has been handed a 12 month disqualification.

The 38-year-old’s barrister told court this was the defendant’s first offence and that it would have an impact on his employment.

David Bagnall, of Glen Villas, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol in blood at the city’s Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecution outlined that on July 4, police on patrol of Sandys Street in Newry observed a Renault Clio swerving on the road, crossing the white central line and making a left turn without indicating.

Officers stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver, who was identified as the defendant.

Police noted a smell of intoxicating liquor and that Bagnall’s speech was slurred. A preliminary breath test was subsequently conducted resulting in a fail.

The defendant was arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite, where a sample of blood was obtained and once tested this gave a reading of 193mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – over twice the legal limit.

Defence barrister Justin Byrne submitted that this was a “morning after case” with Bagnall going to the shops after drinking the night before.

He added that this was the defendant’s first offence and that it would have an impact on his employment.

District Judge Eamonn King commented: “This was a very high reading.”

Mr Byrne said this was accepted but reaffirmed this had been as a result of alcohol taken the night previous.

Bagnall was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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

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