Over the limit company director crashed and knocked out power to traffic lights on way home from golf club

A company director who crashed a vehicle into an electric box which knocked out the power to traffic lights has pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath and careless driving.

Edward John Brown (39), of Tullybeg Avenue in Coleraine, crashed in the vicinity of Brook Street in the town in May this year, Coleraine Magistrates Court was told.

The court heard an incident happened around midnight which knocked off traffic lights at Union Street.

A damaged car with its airbags deployed was being taken away by a recovery lorry near a Gospel Hall and the defendant, who smelt of intoxicating liquor, told police he had been driving.

After the collision he said he had returned home and consumed a large whiskey.

The defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 74 with the legal limit being 35.

During an interview the defendant told police he had been to Portstewart Golf Club where he had alcohol and a meal after playing a round and left around midnight.

When the collision happened he contacted a vehicle assist service he had walked home and poured a whiskey and also had a cup of coffee.

Defence barrister Thomas McKeever said the defendant accepted he had taken alcohol at the clubhouse.

Earlier that week following an incident with his vehicle it had taken a recovery vehicle two hours to arrive and after the collision in Coleraine the defendant decided to walk home rather than wait at the scene for their arrival.

Being in a “state of shock” he had whiskey at home but the barrister said it was accepted he would have been over the limit at the time of the collision although not as high as the subsequent reading showed.

District Judge Peter King said the careless driving was an aggravating feature and banned the defendant from the roads for 16 months and fined him £400.

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