Police chase driver through Rathfriland

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A 20 year old Rathfriland man caught drink driving and speeding has been disqualified for 16 months and fined £200.

Mark McDowell from Sleepy Valley was told that if he successfully completed the drink drive offenders programme, his period off the road could be reduced to a year.

He came to police attention on 13 October when a mobile police patrol watched his Passat car in front of them suddenly take off at speed.

Police followed him as he weaved from side to side at speeds of 55-60 through Rathfriland.

McDowell turned suddenly onto the Hilltown Road and was stopped by officers using blue lights.

Immediately police smelled alcohol from his breath and when McDowell got out of the car he was unsteady on his feet.

He failed a road side test and was taken to Banbridge Station where a reading revealed 62mgs of alcohol.

Barrister Mr O’Hare said his client was a hard working farm worker who was a valuable team member.

He said McDowell was industrious working six days a week.

On the night in question, said Mr O’Hare, the defendant had been at a friend’s house but couldn’t get a taxi and foolishly decided to drive.

Mr Copeland said he couldn’t overlook the aggravating factors including the speed and the prolonged pursuit of police.