Suspended sentence for driver

ABanbridge man caught driving with excess alcohol in breath, has received a five month prison sentence which was suspended for two years.

Andrew Copeland (33) from Lisnaree Road, was also fined £250 with an offenders levy of £15 when he appeared before the local court last week.

A PPS prosecutor explained how on 12 April, police observed a Vauxhall car while on mobile patrol. They spoke to the driver Copeland whose eyes were glazed and speech slurred. He failed a road side test and was arrested and taken to the station where a second test revealed the offence.

Solicitor Paul Downey said his client was parked at the side of the road chatting to his partner on the phone when police appeared.

“He was taken to the station as the road side test machine was not working. He had a row and had driven off to stay with his father. His partner was one the phone telling him to come back when police appeared.”

Mr Downey said his client had a relevant previous record. However he stressed Copeland was a hardworking man but he would lose his employment after the court.

“He foolishly had an argument and left the house. It was a moment of bad temper but he co-operated fully with police and pleads at the first opportunity.”