Dungannon taxi driver who was almost four times the drink limit ‘could lose his house’

Drink driving charge

Drink driving charge

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A taxi driver who was almost four times the limit will lose his job and his house according to his solicitor.

At a sentencing hearing, Mr Fintan McAleer, defending, told the court that his client, Shane Cowan, 42, from Castleview Heights in Dungannon, had a heavy six-figure mortgage and “will now lose his house” following his conviction.

Police

Police

The court heard how staff at McDonald’s restaurant drive-thru on Oaks Road reported a suspected drunk driver at their service window in the early hours of March 10.

Police attended the scene where they discovered the defendant in a silver Vauxhall car.

They reported that he was so drunk “that he couldn’t speak properly”.

He was arrested after failing the preliminary breath test and subsequently provided a sample almost four times the legal limit.

There seems to be a lack of victim awareness of this type of behaviour ... and the court has a duty to protect the public.

Mr McAleer told the court that his client lives with his sister, a classroom assistant, and also helps to care for his mother.

He said that Mr Cowan made no excuse for his behaviour saying that he “holds his hands up” for the mistake.

“This has had a significant impact on his life already,” Mr McAleer told the court. “He has lost his job and he will now lose his house.

“He has entries on his record dating back 20 years ...but he says that he will never be back before this court again.”

Handing down a prison term of three months which she suspended for two years, District Judge Bonita Boyd told the court, “There seems to be a lack of victim awareness of this type of behaviour ... and the court has a duty to protect the public.”

She further imposed a driving disqualification of eighteen months before certifying the defendant for the drink driver’s course.