Drink driver almost hit police vehicle on the Lurgan Road

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Twice after he was stopped for suspected drink driving in Banbridge a 54-year-old man refused to provide samples of breath.

Frankie Breen, whose address was given in court as Clay Road, Keady, admitted three offences when he appeared last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

For each of the two offences of failing to provide a breath sample he was fined £100 and banned from driving for two years.

He was sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years, and banned for two years for driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

The court heard that on October 8 this year at 2.15am a police mobile patrol was operating on the Lurgan Road, Banbridge.

A van coming towards them crossed the while line and almost collided with the police vehicle.

Police officers stopped the van and spoke to the defendant who was driving and noticed he smelled of alcohol.

Breen refused to provide a preliminary breath test and in the Banbridge custody suite he refused to provide an evidential specimen of breath.

A barrister representing Breen said he conceded he was under the influence of alcohol at the scene.

He added that his client had an underlying difficulty with alcohol which shows in his record.

He had been banned on November 5 at Lisburn for four years.

The barrister explained that Breen had been out socialising. He said the defendant was in his way back from Banbridge to Keady.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, warned the defendant that he was facing a custodial sentence if he persisted with this sort of offending.