A man who was caught drink driving twice in a month – on the first occasion whilst over four times the limit – has been disqualified from three years.
Court heard this was a “difficult time” in the 54-year-old’s life, with the passing of both his son and his mother.
Arturas Ignatavkius, 54, of Ballybay Avenue, Portadown pleaded guilty to two counts of driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
It was head the first offence occurred on December 10, at around 1am, when police spotted the defendant in a BMW attempting to turn a corner.
They noted the driving as erratic and unusual. It seemed that Ignatavkius was incapable of making the manoeuvre.
The officers drove so that their vehicle was parallel with the defendant’s and as he attempted the turn again nearly collided with them.
Police spoke to Ignatavkius noting that his speech was slurred, he was asked to exit his car and appeared unsteady on his feet.
A preliminary breath test resulted in a fail. Later an evidential reading of 141mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.
The second offence occurred on January 5, at 3.05pm, when police spotted Ignatavkius in the same BMW driving erratically on Charles Street Portadown.
The defendant’s vehicle was being driven excessively slowly and was drifting towards the central line.
When stopped, officers noted that Ignatavkius’ smelled strongly of alcohol and he admitted to drinking earlier in the day.
A preliminary breath test resulted in a fail with a reading in custody of 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath being taken.
Defence solicitor Philip Reid stated: “It was quite right a pre-sentence report was ordered. This was the second time this had occurred, the second whilst the first was still pending.
“He is putting both himself and other road users at risk.”
He added that this was a traumatic time in Ignatavkius’ life after the loss of his son to a brain aneurysm and his mother shortly after.
Mr Reid commented: “Looking at him today this is the best I have seen him and he instructs me he has got rid of the car.”
District Judge Stephen Keown stated: “This was a difficult time in his life but this happened twice.
“Hopefully we can nip this in the bud, there seems to be an alcohol problem and probation will help him with this.”
Ignatavkius was disqualified from driving for three years and sentenced to 12 months probation.