A Crossmaglen man who was found to be almost three times the legal limit after failing to stop for police has been handed a two year disqualification.
A suspended prison sentence was also imposed on the 27-year-old as this was his fifth conviction for driving without a policy of insurance.
Barry Maguire, of Ard Ross, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop for police and using a vehicle without insurance at Newry Magistrates’ on Wednesday.
Prosecution outlined that on February 5, at 9.35pm, police were conducting a vehicle checkpoint on the Dundalk Road, Newtownhamilton.
An Audi A5 was signalled to stop with a torch but failed to do so and continued in the direction of Newtownhamilton.
Officers followed and found the car abandoned without its keys nearby. A smell of intoxicating liquor was detected coming from the vehicle.
Checks revealed that the car was not insured but a DVLA check showed that it was registered in the defendant’s name.
This was corroborated by documents also in Maguire’s name which were located on the passenger seat.
At 9.55pm, police observed a male matching the description of the defendant walking in the direction of shops on Dundalk Street.
He was spoken to and confirmed his identity. It was noted that his speech was slurred and he smelled of intoxicating liquor.
A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail and the keys belonging to the Audi were located nearby.
Maguire was conveyed to Banbridge Custody Suite, and whilst here an evidential sample was collected which gave a reading of 103mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath.
During interview, the defendant made largely no comment other than to say he had owned the vehicle 12 months prior.
It was outlined by the prosecution that this would be Maguire’s fifth conviction for no insurance.
District Judge Eamonn King commented: “It would appear that his biggest problem here is lack of insurance Mr Tiernan.”
Defence solicitor Padraig Tiernan stated: “He instructs that he had been working in Dublin, he stopped for a few drinks and after having trouble getting a taxi he made the decision to drive home.
“He had bought this vehicle in order to sell it on but that couldn’t be done.”
Maguire was disqualified from driving for two years and was sentenced to five months in prison suspended for two years.
In addition, the defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15.