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Man involved in two vehicle collision had ‘drunk three cans of cider with lunch at girlfriend’s house’

Defendant denied chance to take part in drink driving course due to previous offence 20 years ago

Drink driving Craigavon Court

A Portadown man has been denied participating in a drink driving course to reduce his 15-month disqualification despite his solicitor claiming it was a “low reading”.

A district judge said she could not offer the 37-year-old the course due to a previous offence which occurred 20 years ago.

Jason Trimble, 37, of Derryclone Gardens, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that on July 22, police attended a two-vehicle road collision on the Armagh Road, Portadown.

Officers requested that the defendant, one of the drivers involved, take a breath test which resulted in a fail.

At 6.40pm Trimble was arrested and cautioned for the offence. He stated that he had taken a couple of drinks with lunch.

The defendant was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite where a blood sample showed that he had 93mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 80mg.

Defence solicitor Joseph McDonald stated: “The day in question was a Sunday. Mr Trimble had gone to his girlfriend’s house for lunch and consumed three cans of cider.

“He had not planned on going out but received a call from a friend to go to the gym. It was on his return from this workout that he got into the accident.”

Mr McDonald continued: “He believed that he was okay to drive, this was a very low reading, although he does have a similar previous offence that was 20 years ago.

“I would ask that he is certified for the drink driving course.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said that this was not possible due to his previous offence.

Trimble was disqualified from driving for 15 months and ordered to pay a fine of £350, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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