Three times over the limit

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A Lurgan man was given a suspended prison sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates court for a drink driving offence.

Conal McGivern (30), Foxgrove, Lurgan, was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, and banned for four years for driving with excess alcohol on April 21 this year.

He was also fined £100 and banned for six months for failing to provide a breath sample.

The court heard that police saw a car being driven in an erratic manner on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown before it turned into Rose Cottages.

Police could smell intoxicating liquor and McGivern refused to provide a preliminary breath test or get out of the vehicle.

Police had to apply handcuffs to one of his wrists to pull him out of the vehicle. He was unable to stand unaided. He was taken into Lurgan custody suite where a blood test gave a reading of 266 - the limit is 80.

Mr Felim Rafferty, representing the defendant, said his client obviously had difficulties with drink.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said he was very concerned about the case as the reading was very high, over three times the limit, and McGivern had a previous conviction for excess alcohol in 2008 when he was banned for 20 months.