‘Downright selfish’ Pomeroy drink driver banned for being three times the limit

Dungannon Court  TT0509-JS112
Dungannon Court TT0509-JS112

A Pomeroy man who was over three times the limit when he was stopped by police has been banned from driving for 15 months.

50-year-old Paul McGranaghan from Gortscraheen Road was also given a fine of £400 at East Tyrone Magistrates Court on Friday last.

The court heard how police on mobile patrol on Limehill Road on the evening of September 18 spotted a car making bad and unusual noises.

They reported that the car was travelling slowly and was swerving around the lane.

They stopped the car and noted that the defendant showed signs of drinking alcohol. They also saw that there was damage to the front of the car which also had a flat tyre.

A subsequent breath test at Dungannon Police Station revealed a reading of 111mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Mr Stephen Atherton, defending, told the court that his client had met the charge in a good manner and fully co-operated with police.

He said that Mr McGranaghan had been driving for some 32 years without incident.

“This is something of a sad tale,” he told the court. “Mr McGranaghan had his own business before the recession hit.

“He then been on a downward spiral of alcohol and depression since.

“On the night in question he had taken solace in drink and then decided to go a get something to eat.”

Mr Atherton said that his client had already taken steps to deal with his alcohol issues .

“He has reached rock bottom,” he told the court, “and finds himself motivated to turn his life around. I would ask that the court tempers justice with mercy.”

Handing down a sentence that included a driving ban of 15 months, District Judge Bernadette Kelly said, “How does someone get behind the wheel of a car with that much alcohol on board?

“It’s not just irrational - it is downright selfish.”

An offender’s levy of £15 was also imposed by Judge Kelly.