A 60-YEAR-OLD woman who was drink driving when she collided with a parked car, before making off from the scene, has received a 15-month disqualification.

Florence Armstrong, of Drumlish Road, Dromore, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in her blood at Market Street, Ederney, driving without due care and attention and failing to report a damage-only accident on August 19, 2017.

Further charges of failing to stop and failing to remain at the scene of the accident were withdrawn.

Fermanagh Magistrates Court heard that, at 10.50pm, the defendant had been driving along Market Street, Ederney when she collided with a parked car, causing a scratch to the rear bumper and damage to both off-side doors.

She drove off from the scene, but witnesses provided police with her vehicle’s registration.

Armstrong was later located on Drumlish Road, near her home.

Officers observed damage to the vehicle’s front nearside wheel arch.

She was subsequently conveyed to Enniskillen custody suite.

Police noted that the defendant was “uncoordinated” and slurring her speech.

An evidential breath test returned a reading of 49 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath – a total of 14 micrograms in excess of the legal limit.

Armstrong was then given the option of providing a blood sample.

Subsequent forensic analysis revealed that there was 106 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of her blood – some 26 milligrams in excess of the limit.

During interview, the defendant made no comment.

Defending solicitor, Michael Fahy, told the court that her client had taken a preliminary breath test at the roadside which returned a reading of 19 micrograms – below the legal limit – but police saw fit to arrest her because of her “demeanour”.

The solicitor said that the level of this “minimum amount” of alcohol in her system had risen between taking the preliminary test and the evidential test at the station.

When district judge Nigel Broderick asked why the defendant hadn’t stopped after hitting the car, Mr. Fahy replied: “I can’t answer that.”

The solicitor said that it had been a “very low speed impact” - around 15 to 20mph – and her car was easily identifiable by the registration.

“Only if she was seen,” the judge responded.

Mr. Fahy told the court: “She was seen. By the time she got home police were in attendance.”

In mitigation, the solicitor urged the judge to reflect on his client’s “unblemished” 40-year driving record.

Mr. Broderick gave the defendant credit for her clear record and guilty pleas, but observed that her failure to remain at the scene was an “aggravating factor”.

The judge imposed fines totalling £500, a £15 offender levy and a 15-month driving disqualification.

The defendant must remain disqualified until retested.

Meanwhile, she was certified as a suitable candidate for the drink driving course and will be eligible for a discount on her ban of up to 25 per cent upon successful completion.