A DRUNK driver who overtook a police car on a sweeping bend in the early hours of the morning has been disqualified for 20 months.

Colin Brennan (25), of Cloghtogle Road, Lisbellaw, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath, dangerous driving on the A4 and Quarry Lane, Lisbellaw and failing to stop for police on August 13, 2017.

Fermanagh Magistrates Court heard that, at 3.20am, police travelling along the A4 road were overtaken on a sweeping left hand bend by a silver Vauxhall Vectra.

Officers activated their blue lights and siren to bring the vehicle to a stop, but it carried on driving at speed and exited the main road on to Quarry Lane.

As it turned, police observed that the car lost traction, causing a cloud of dust and smoke to rise.

After carrying out a check of the last registered owner of the vehicle, officers attended the defendant’s home address.

When he was spoken to, Brennan admitted that he had been driving, but insisted that he had enough sight as he conducted the overtaking manoeuvre.

He further claimed that he did not see police when they had signalled for him to stop.

An evidential breath test returned a reading of 67 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath – a total of 32 micrograms over the legal limit.

Defending counsel, Stephen Fitzpatrick, told the court that, on the night in question, his client had been out for the evening and took a “very foolish risk” after drinking some beers.

The barrister admitted that Brennan knew he was “likely to be over the limit” and should have made other arrangements.

In mitigation, Mr. Fitzpatrick said that the defendant did not have a previous record for alcohol-related offences.

He said that Brennan worked as a joiner and, in the course of his employment, drove some 20,000 miles a year across Fermanagh and Tyrone.

The barrister added that his client appreciated the danger that he had posed and his court appearance was a “salutary lesson” for him.

District judge, Nigel Broderick, observed the defendant’s driving had been “highly dangerous”, adding that: “Anything could have happened.”

The judge imposed a 20-month driving ban and ordered Brennan to remain disqualified until retested.

Mr. Broderick said that, hopefully, the penny would drop that this type of behaviour was unacceptable.

The judge also imposed fines of £600 and a £15 offender levy.