Car was swerving from side to side

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A suspended prison sentence was imposed on a 51-year-old man last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court for his third drink driving related offence.

Gary Francis Byrne, Kensington Avenue, Banbridge, admitted driving while unfit on November 25 last year.

He was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for three years, and banned from driving for three years.

The court heard that at 9.30pm police received a report from a member of the public about a car being driven erratically in Banbridge.

Police saw it being driven slowly on the Castlewellan Road and followed behind using lights and sirens. The car travelled on for two minutes at 20mph before pulling into a driveway.

Police spoke to the defendant who was driving and he failed a preliminary breath test while an evidential sample gave a reading of 106.

A solicitor representing the defendant said that Byrne had consumed alcohol and foolishly gave a friend a lift to his house.

There was a previous similar conviction within the ten year period on the defendant’s record.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said this was the third time Byrne had been in court for excess alcohol offences.

He added that the offence had come to light because a member of the public had seen a car being driven in an erratic manner in the town centre on a Saturday evening.

The judge said the defendant was swerving from side to side, didn’t stop for the lights and sirens and was three times the legal limit.

“My concern is to keep other road users safe from someone like you who just ignores the law,” added Judge Mateer.