Drunk Tyrone man failed to ‘spot the difference between a green and red light’

Green lights mean go

Green lights mean go

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A drunk driver “proved his incompetence by not being able to spot the difference between a green and red light” East Tyrone Magistrates Court has heard.

District Judge John Meehan handed down a 30 month driving ban to Brian Cornelius Toner, 46, from Corvanaghan Road in Dunnamore, after he pleaded guilty to drink driving and breach of a traffic sign on June 17 this year.

The court heard how police were travelling along the Sweep Road in Cookstown at 11.30pm when they spotted a black car sitting at the traffic lights despite them being green.

It was only when the light turned red that he moved away and turned onto Church Street.

Toner was stopped and police noticed signs that he had been drinking alcohol. He failed the roadside test and consequently provided a breath sample over twice the legal limit.

“(My client) is very remorseful,” his solicitor told the court. “He had abstained from alcohol for ten years but due to family circumstances he indulged and then popped into his car to go buy cigarettes.”

Handing down a driving ban of two and a half years, Judge Meehan said: “He has got two previous convictions (for drink driving) in his career.

“He then proved his incompetence by not being able to spot the difference between a green and red light.”

Judge Meehan also imposed fines totalling £350 as well as an offender’s levy of £15.