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Portadown drink driver found by police crashed into barriers on M1

A Portadown man who produced “quite a high reading” after crashing into barriers on the M1 has been slapped with a £750 fine and 12-month driving ban.

Desmond Foy, of Ballyoran Park, appeared via his solicitor’s office before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court.

The 39-year-old was charged with dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol in breath and possession of Class C drugs, namely Diazepam and Amitriptyline.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess and possession of Class C, but not guilty to dangerous driving. He pleaded guilty alternatively to careless driving.

The court heard that at around 1am on June 4, police received a report of a possible drink-driver, as a vehicle was being driven on the M1 in a reckless manner. Police located the vehicle which had crashed into the barriers between junction 11 and 12.

The driver, who was identified as the defendant, reportedly had a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and was unsteady on his feet. He subsequently failed a preliminary breath test (PBT).

When taken to Banbridge custody suite, a further breath reading produced an evidential sample of 99mg per 100ml of alcohol. The legal limit is 35mg. While in custody he was searched and a blister pack was found.

Foy’s defence solicitor commented that the defendant “apologises to all those concerned”.

He added: “Throughout the pandemic he had been on his own, on furlough, with no family support and out of that came depression and self-medication. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. He’s back into full time employment.”

Deputy District Judge Kennedy noted that the alcohol test had produced “quite a high reading”.

For driving with excess alcohol, he imposed a fine of £500, along with a 12 month disqualification from driving. For careless driving, he added a further £250 fine, along with a six month driving ban to run concurrently with the 12.

For the drugs possession, Foy received a one year conditional discharge, and a destruction order was made for the drugs.

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