Three times limit driver admitted: I'm as drunk as a skunk
Chris Donegan • Published 13 Nov 2012 12:58
A 62-year-old driver was "drunk as a skunk" when police found him sitting at the wheel of his car rolling a cigarette.
In was the second time in six months that Frank Storey was caught drinking and driving and on both occasions he was three times the legal alcohol limit.
He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, banned from driving for three years, put on probation for six months and fined £100.
Storey, from Derrylin Road, Corravehy, Kinawley, was told the only thing saving him from jail was the fact that he has sought treatment and counselling for his alcohol addiction.
He admitted driving with excess alcohol on March 24, and again on September 26.
A prosecutor told Fermanagh Court that at 11.50pm on March 24, police stopped Storey driving a Vauxhall Vectra. There was a smell of intoxicating liquor from him and his eyes were glazed. He failed a preliminary breath test. He was taken to Enniskillen Police Station where an evidential sample produced an alcohol reading of 104 - three times the legal limit of 35.
The prosecutor told the court that six months later, at 1.17am on September 26, police received a report that a drunken Storey was sitting in a car on the Derrylin Road at Bellanaleck. A member of the public had switched the car's engine off and removed the keys from the ignition. When the police arrived they noticed that Storey's speech was slurred and there was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor from him. He told them: "I hold my hands up. I'm drunk as a skunk. I stopped to roll a cigarette."
The court heard that Storey provided a sample of breath which produced an alcohol reading of 105 - three times the legal limit of 35. When charged with the offence, he replied: "Guilty, 100 per cent."
Storey's lawyer told the court there was very little that could be said. He had got into a car with drink taken. He is now liaising with an alcohol counsellor and seeking help with his addiction problem.
District Judge Liam McNally said Storey never seemed to have taken a driving test as he had held a provisional licence since 1997.
He told Storey these were two very bad cases whereby he had ignored, not only his own safety but that of other road users, by taking a vehicle on to the road when he was three times the legal alcohol limit. It was an "appalling level of alcohol".
He said he had been minded to send Storey to prison but he was taking into account his "limited" criminal record and admissions of guilt. However, he told him that what was saving him from prison was the fact that "you have actively involved yourself with addiction treatment" and spent five days on a residential course in Omagh which would hopefully result in "you cutting your links with this type of offence".
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 13 Nov 12