Young Magherafelt man caught drink driving after going wrong way around roundabout

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A 21-year-old Magherafelt man was fined £315 and banned from the road for 12 months after driving drunk the wrong way around a roundabout.

The court heard how police saw Jerome Downey, of Barrack Road, Magherafelt taking the Church Street roundabout on the wrong side and veering several times across the central white line at around 2.40am on August 2.

She said police stopped the vehicle at Castledawson Road, when the driver quickly got out and police noticed he was unsteady on this feet.

Counsel said Downey failed a preliminary breath test and was taken to the custody suite where he provided a breath specimen which showed an alcoholic count of 85mgs.

Mr Atherton said the defendant had no intention of driving that night but had “fallen into company” and found himself without a lift home.

He said the disqualification would put him at risk of losing his job in a breaker’s yard.

Downey was given permission to take part in the drink-driving rehabilitation scheme which may entitle him to a three-month reduction in his period of disqualification.

For a similar offence, Kyle Wilson, 19, from Glenelly Villas, Draperstown, was also fined £315 and banned from driving for 12 months.

The prosecutor told the court that police on patrol at St Patrick’s Street, Draperstown, had reason to stop a car and, on speaking to the driver, officers detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor.

She said Wilson was arrested and taken to Dungannon police station, where he provided a breath specimen which showed an alcohol reading of 55mgs.

Mr Atherton said the defendant feels he has let his family down by his attendance in court. He said Wilson had passed his driving test in March and gone out for the evening with no intention of drinking and driving.

A solicitor at Dungannon court said he was seeing a growing trend in the number of young people driving home drunk.

Judge Kelly said they “should have more wit”.