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Man unable to park car when pulled over by police admitted smoking cannabis

Defendant hit kerb in process of reversing had taken drug

Armagh Courthouse

A Portuguese national who was unable to park his vehicle when pulled over by police admitted that he had smoked cannabis.

Alfonso Augusta Da Silva, of Thomas Street, Portadown, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday charged with driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs.

The incident occurred on November 4, last year, when police – who were attending an unrelated matter – spotted a Citroen swerving all over the Red Lion Road, Loughgall.

Officers pulled the vehicle over and noted a strong smell of cannabis.

Forty-three-year-old Da Silva, who was the driver of the vehicle, appeared to have glazed eyes and when asked by police stated he had smoked cannabis.

When asked by officers to park the car the defendant was unable to do so, hitting the kerb as he was in the process of reversing.

A preliminary breath test was taken at the roadside which gave a negative reading.

Da Silva was then taken into custody where a doctor conducted a blood sample test, which showed him to have a small amount of cannabis in his system.

Defence counsel stated there had been someone else in the car that night to whom the cannabis belonged.

The solicitor went on to reiterate to Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall that it was a very small amount of the drug that the defendant had in his blood.

Court heard that Da Silva had moved to Northern Ireland four years ago and had a clear record.

Deputy District Judge Marshall, who gave the defendant credit for his early plea, banned him from driving for 12 months and ordered Da Silva to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.

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