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Man who drank beers after car broke down on long journey home given 10 penalty points

Defence said his client instructed he was 'fiddling with the Satnav, when he had a minor accident which caused damage to his two front wheels'

A man whose drank a few beers whilst awaiting a lift after his car broke down on his way home from Wicklow has been given 10 penalty points.

In sentencing the 31-year-old, the district judge commented: “I am finding it hard to figure out, how in travelling from Wicklow to Strabane, he ended up in Tandragee.”

Daryl Maguire, of Drumrallagh, Strabane, had a plea of guilty entered to being in charge with excess alcohol at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 28, at 7.30pm, police received a report of a BMW on the Old Gilford Road in Tandragee which had two damaged tyres, the driver of which was suspected of being under the influence.

Officers arrived to observe another BMW parked in front of the one reported. They spoke to the driver of this vehicle who said his brother, the defendant, had called for a lift after getting two flat tyres.

A preliminary breath test was conducted on Maguire, which resulted in a fail, and he was charged with the offence before the court.

He was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite, where an evidential sample was obtained which gave a reading of 129mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Oliver Roche stated: “Although the facts of the case are pretty accurate, they do not tell the full story. The defendant works as a crane driver and he had been travelling home to Strabane from Wicklow.

“He got lost and ended up in Tandragee. He instructs he was fiddling with the Satnav, when he had a minor accident which caused damage to his two front wheels.”

He continued: “It took his brother and his girlfriend three hours to arrive and find him. During the interim time, he had beer in the car which he consumed.

“In cases such as this there is always a suspicion that the defendant was driving, but if he was planning on driving from Wicklow to Strabane whilst under the influence he would have no hope of making it home.”

Mr Roche added that Maguire’s licence was essential to his employment and any disqualification would mean his job would be in “severe danger”.

District Judge Eamonn King commented: “I am finding it hard to figure out, how in travelling from Wicklow to Strabane, he ended up in Tandragee.”

Maguire was handed 10 penalty points and was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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