'Lucky' to walk away from crash

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

DISTRICT Judge Eamon King has told a Newry man, who was involved in a single vehicle collision whilst over the drink driving limit, that he is "very lucky" in one respect.

A prosecuting solicitor told Newry Magistrate's Court that on January 8 at 11.30 pm, police attended the scene of a collision involving a Volkswagen Golf on the Rathfriland Road.

The court heard that "extensive damage" had been caused to the car and that the driver was not present.

Enquiries made by police, however, established that the driver had been 20-year-old Jamie Fletcher of Meadowbrook, Newry. He was subsequently arrested and breathalysed.

His breath sample produced a reading of 56 micrograms alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

A defence solicitor told the court that, on the night on question, his client had been playing pool and had decided to drive to his girlfriend's house.

The lawyer called this decision by Fletcher, who came to the court with no previous convictions, "an error of judgement on his part."

He also referred to the "relatively low reading" that the breathalyser had produced.

Judge King, addressing the defendant, said: "In one regard, you should count yourself as very lucky. You've been involved in a one vehicle road traffic accident and you've walked away from it.

“I hope that it's a lesson that's not been lost on you and that you never do this again."

On a charge of driving with excess alcohol in breath, Fletcher was fined 200 and disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months.

He was certified as a candidate for a drink driver's course, which if successfully completed, will reduce the driving ban by three months.

An offender levy of 15 was also imposed.


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