Drunk driver swerved along carriageway before crashing into Ballygawley roundabout

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A drunk driver had a “stream of sparks” coming from behind his van as he swerved across Stangmore dual carriageway.

Pleading guilty to drink driving and dangerous driving on November 20 was Peter Christopher Maughan, 23, from Lakeview Court in Craigavon.

East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard how police received calls from concerned road users on the A4 aroudn 6.25am who stated that a van had been swerving all over the road before colliding with the Ballygawley roundabout.

Police driving away from Dungannon spotted a van on the opposite side of the dual carriageway with a “stream of sparks” coming from the back of the vehicle. The constables also noted a number of vehicles which were caught behind the van.

The police turned and caught up with the van which was “swerving between the two lanes”.

When he exited the van, Mr Maughan showed signs of having consumed alcohol. He was forced to lean against the rear of the vehicle for balance.

He subsequently provided a sample two and a half times the limit.

Maughan’s solicitor told the court that his client’s behaviour was “appalling”. He told the court that the father-of-three had “follishly tried to drive home”.

“There is no real mitigaton here,” said District Judge John Meehan. “This was a blatant piece of atrocious driving.”

He then handed down fines totalling £350 and banned Maughan from driving for two years.

“Your first appearance for driving while disqualified will be an immediate custodial,” Judge Meehan warned.

When asked by Maughan’s solicitor if he would consider his client for the drink driver’s course, Judge Meehan refused.

“If I could disqualify him for longer I would disqualify him for longer. I want him off the road for as long as possible,” he told him.