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Three year ban for Tandragee drink driver who crashed his car into electrical pole

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A man who crashed his car whilst intoxicated and refused to submit to a breath test has been fined £650 and banned from driving for three years.

Douglas Luis Black, of Black’s Lane in Tandragee appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The 30-year-old was charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath, driving when unfit through drink/drugs, failing to report and failed to provide a specimen whilst driving unfit.

The court heard that the matter was listed to be contested, but eleventh hour guilty pleas were entered to all of the charges.

The prosecution outlined that on March 10 of this year, police received reports that a male who was believed to be under the influence had left a house in Lurgan carrying a bottle of alcohol.

He entered a vehicle and then subsequently crashed on the Banbridge Road.

The driver is then alleged to have “walked off” leaving the vehicle abandoned in the middle of the road. Police discovered the defendant stumbling along the road approximately ten meters from the vehicle.

“It was clear to police that the male was intoxicated”, as he was struggling to walk and tripping over his feet, and had slurred speech.

The defendant provided police with personal details. He was asked to provide a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) and refused.

The vehicle he was driving had collided with an electrical post and police checks confirmed that the defendant was the only person insured on the vehicle.

There were also empty alcohol containers in the driver’s side of the vehicle, along with the keys. He was arrested and brought to hospital due to a cut on his head. He was requested to provide a further specimen but refused. However, he was interviewed and admitted to driving the vehicle.

Douglas’s defence solicitor commented: “Not as much of the court time has been wasted as what might have been had he proceeded on with the contest.

“Thankfully no persons were injured other than himself. It was in the early hours of Thursday morning at 2 o’clock in the morning and the only damage caused was to the pole and to his own vehicle.

“Thankfully he has now come to his senses and entered a plea of guilty.”

He added that his client was gainfully employed and “quite a talented chef”, who was going through the break up of a relationship.

“There are other factors in his life going on at present, no person was injured and he has entered a plea of guilty, albeit at a very late stage.

“On the night in question he had gone to a friends house and obviously he had taken alcohol, he accepts that, and then had crashed the vehicle.”

Deputy District Judge Greg McCourt remarked that the defendant was a “foolish man and indeed on these circumstances.”

For the failing to provide a specimen, Judge McCourt imposed a fine of £200, for the driving while unfit he imposed £200, for failing to report he imposed £50 and for the final failing to provide charge he imposed a fine of £200.

The total fine added up to £650, which the defendant has 16 weeks to pay. He was also disqualified from driving for three years.

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