Drove the wrong way around roundabout

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After she had been drinking a 22-year-old woman drove the wrong way around a roundabout and ended up crashing into trees, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Gillian Robinson, Clare Road, Tandragee, admitted dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol in her blood on May 9 last year.

For each offence she was fined £250 and banned from driving for 18 months.

The court heard that shortly after 11pm a woman driving on the Newry Road in Banbridge saw a vehicle coming around the Tesco roundabout in the wrong direction.

A collision was narrowly avoided and the other vehicle, driven by the defendant, clipped a kerb, collided with the island at high speed and left the road, running into trees. The other person phoned for the police and an ambulance.

Robinson’s car was badly damaged but she was not seriously injured. There was a smell of alcohol from her and she failed a preliminary breath test.

She was taken to Daisy Hill hospital and treated for minor injuries. A blood sample was taken which gave a reading of 134 – the limit is 80.

When interviewed she accepted she had taken alcohol before driving and misjudged the entry to the roundabout.

A barrister representing the defendant said his client had left her car at a friend’s house in Banbridge and had gone to Newcastle.

He added that she was heading home but was not familiar with the area and went around a roundabout the wrong way before crashing into a fence and trees. The car was completely written off.

The lawyer said that Robinson not longer drives and this had been a frightening experience for her. He added that it had been a salutary lesson for her and she would not be back before a court again.

A public prosecutor said that the other driver had managed to get out of the way of the defendant’s vehicle and had acted as a Good Samaritan by ringing the police and emergency services.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, told the defendant this was a highly irresponsible piece of driving fuelled by excess alcohol. He added that if it had not been for the alertness of the oncoming vehicle there could have been disastrous circumstances.

The judge said her conduct was irresponsible and there was a high degree of negligence but he got the impression she was regretful and remorseful.

He added that at the end of the disqualification period the defendant would be required to sit an extended driving test.