05 Oct 2022

Court hears drunk driver who was four times over legal limit crashed into a telegraph pole and damaged almost 40 feet of fencing

A 57-year-old woman who crashed into a telegraph pole and damaged almost 40 feet of fencing was found to have a reading of almost 4 times the legal limit, a court has heard. Geraldine McKnight of Straid Road in Claudy, appeared at Derry Magistrate's Court sitting in Omagh on Friday, where she admitted a series of driving offences that occurred on November 18 last year. The court was told that police were called to the scene of an accident, and upon arrival found a red car that had crashed into the pole and fencing. The officers then attended the address of the registered owner, McKnight, and when they spoke to her they observed that her speech was slurred. The court heard the defendant admitted she had been drinking, and while police were talking to her she persisted in consuming more liquids like water, despite being warned not to. She told police she had removed a bottle of vodka from the car,and admitted losing control of the vehicle when she reached for her bag. The police then carried out a breath test which read 120 mgs – almost four times the legal limit of 35mgs. The court heard that McKnight said she was 'sorry and ashamed'. Defence solicitor Mr Tom McClafferty said that McKnight had been using alcohol as a 'coping mechanism' but was now getting help. McKnight was sentenced to 140 hours community service, fined £200 and disqualified for a period of 18 months.

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