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Teenager who drove into a bush with cannabis in his system disqualified for 12 months

He told police that he was the holder of a provisional licence and admitted to smoking cannabis prior to driving

A teenager who drove into a bush with cannabis in his system has been handed a 12 month disqualification.

The 18-year-old’s solicitor stated: “This was a foolish enterprise. He appears before the court with a clear record and he has shown his culpability at the scene.”

Craig Keenan, of Belfoy Avenue, Dundalk, had pleas of guilty entered to driving when unfit, using a vehicle without insurance, unaccompanied L driver, not displaying L plates and driving without due care or attention at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 14, police received a report of a one vehicle collision in the vicinity of Mountain Road in Lislea.

Officers arrived to find a Nissan Micra in a bush on a grass verge. The car had excessive frontal damage with a crack to the windscreen and skid marks were also noted on the road leading to the vehicle.

Two males were inside the Micra, this defendant being the driver, and he told police that he was the holder of a provisional licence and admitted to smoking cannabis prior to driving.

An impairment test was conducted and it was found that Keenan was impaired. A sample of his blood was taken with this confirming there was cannabis in his system.

The defendant was interviewed and made full admissions to all of the offences.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny informed court that Keenan had ADHD and other conditions, which was his reason for taking cannabis, but he stated he had since advised his client.

He continued: “This could have been much worse. This was his own vehicle and he is still on his provisional but is attending for lessons, however, he is aware of the inevitable outcome of today.

“This was a foolish enterprise. He appears before the court with a clear record and he has shown his culpability at the scene.”

District Judge Eamon King conditionally discharged Keenan for 12 months, disqualified him from driving for 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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