Three-times-limit drink driver smashed into three parked cars and put works van on its side

ColeraineCourt7 - Edited

A man three times the drink limit smashed into three parked cars and put the works van he had taken without authority onto its side.

Jonathan William McDonald (35), of Lisnablagh Road, Coleraine, crashed at the town’s Ballycastle Road around 8pm on October 18 this year.

Coleraine Magistrates Court, on December 3, heard he pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath; taking a van without the authority of the owner and resisting a police officer and was banned from driving for two and a half years and fined £600.

A prosecutor said when police arrived the white van was on its side, driver-side down, and members of the public were helping McDonald to get out.

There was a very strong smell of alcohol and he had a breath reading of 109 with the legal limit being 35.

An Astra, Honda and Peugeot were damaged.

When placed in a police car he resisted a police officer but officers noted he was shocked, sorry and genuinely remorseful.

Defence solicitor Sam Barr said the defendant had never been in court before and had never been involved in a road traffic accident.

He said it was a “particularly nasty” offence which had happened after “a bit of a fall-out” and the defendant had gone out to “drown his sorrows” and then for “some reason” decided to drive home in the van but fortunately nobody was injured.

When placed in the police car, Mr Barr said, the defendant reached across and tried to get out the other door.

As a result of the collision, the married father-of-two had lost his job and was now on benefits.

District Judge Peter King said the defendant had no record and had pleaded guilty but he was more than three times the limit when he was involved in a collision which damaged the work van which he had taken without authority and also three other vehicles.

He told the defendant: “Think what would have happened if you had hit members of the public and not the cars”.

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