Caught driving while unfit after he had self-medicated

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A 26-year-old who self-medicated to treat anxiety was banned for 12 months after he admitted driving while unfit on July 26 last year.

Jonathan Harris, Main Street, Loughbrickland, was also fined £250 for the offence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

For driving without due care and attention he was fined £75 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

The court heard that at approximately 8.10pm police received a report of a suspected drunk driver on the Gilford Road, Portadown.

They saw a car parked at a garage and the defendant was identified as the driver. He said he had driven from the High Street Mall in Portadown.

Medication was found in the car and a blood sample was taken from Harris. An analysis of the sample tested positive for Xanax. He admitted to police that it ‘makes him cuckoo’ and he was aware that it said on the box not to drive.

A solicitor representing the defendant said her client had just completed a 12 hour shift and was heading home when he came to police attention.

She added that Harris had a negative result when he was breathalysed for alcohol but he was self-medicating as he suffered from anxiety.

The solicitor said this had been a lesson to him and he had since attended with his GP. He had been proscribed medication.

She said he had made arrangements with family and friends which would allow him to continue in employment.