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Driving ban for man who gave friend a lift home after drinking

The district judge praises his 'honesty in owning up to the offence'

A Portadown man who left his home to give a lift to a friend after he had been out drinking has been banned from driving for a year.

The district judge stated he was “impressed” by the honesty shown by the 23-year-old in owning up to the offence upon the arrival of police.

Dylan Gillespie, of Baltylum Meadows, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, using a vehicle without insurance and no licence at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on December 27, police received a report of an abandoned vehicle on the Loughgall Road, Portadown.

Officers arrived to find a damaged Ford Focus. They were approached by the defendant who was nearby and he admitted to being the driver of the car.

After noticing that Gillespie smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and had slurred speech, police opted to carry out a preliminary breath test which resulted in a fail.

Checks later revealed that the defendant did not hold a licence and the car he had been driving did not have a valid policy of insurance.

Whilst at Lurgan Custody Suite, an evidential sample of breath was obtained giving a reading of 75mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid stated: “There is no excuse. He had been out at a bar socialising and he was at home when a friend called asking for a lift.

“He made a mistake.”

District Judge Peter Magill said: “Mr Gillespie, this was a plea of guilty for which you will get credit. I am also impressed that you went up to the police. This shows honesty in owning up to the offence.”

Gillespie was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £600, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

District Judge Magill 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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