Drink driver ploughed into roundabout in Cookstown

Entrance to Cookstown
Entrance to Cookstown

Airbags were activated when a Dungannon driver - who was distracted by his mobile phone charger - ploughed into a roundabout, a court has heard.

Police discovered an abandoned BMW car in the middle of the Dungannon Road roundabout in Cookstown in the early hours of September 6.

The car had sustained damage due to mounting the grass verge and the airbags had deployed.

The driver, Paulo Alexander Neves, 37, from Annagole, told the police that he had been driving and, when asked if he had been drinking, replied, “Yes, too much.”

He failed the roadside breath test, but was unable to complete the breath procedure at Dungannon station for a more accurate reading.

Mr Patrick Hughes, defending, told the court that his client had “a couple of drinks” but was not used to drinking and made the foolish decision to get behind the wheel to drive home.

He said that he was “momentarily distracted” as he fiddled with his phone charger on the way out of Cookstown and that was when the collision occurred.

He said that Mr Neves - a manager at Moy Park - had walked his companion away from the scene before returning to find the police present.

Mr Hughes stated that his client was unable to complete the breath test - despite four attempts - as he had sustained sore ribs.

District Judge John Meehan handed down fines totalling £300 and a driving ban amounting to 18 months.

He further imposed a court offender’s levy of £15.