A LISBELLAW man who crashed into a car while under the influence of alcohol has been disqualified from driving for 15 months. 

Ernest Armstrong (57), of Tattygare Heights, Lisbellaw, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrate's Court on Monday, February 12. 

Armstrong was facing charges of drink-driving and failing to provide a specimen of breath on December 4 of last year. 

A prosecutor told the court how at around 9.30pm, staff at Dunnes Stores, Enniskillen, received a report from a customer that Armstrong had collided with their vehicle, which as a result, had a "bumper hanging off". 

The injured party noted that Armstrong's appearance was "dishevelled",  he was "unaware of his surroundings", and that he was "unsteady on his feet", the court heard. 

He then left the scene, and police were contacted. 

Officers attended Armstrong's home address and noted a smell of alcohol and that he was "swaying back and forth". 

He refused to submit to a preliminary breath test, and was arrested.

In an interview, he confirmed he was the owner of the vehicle, but replied "no comment" to other questions put to him. 

Armstrong's solicitor said: "He [Armstrong] has no problems with alcohol, but it is something he could reduce."

The solicitor explained that Armstrong was unable to work as a result of an accident some years ago, but had previously enjoyed a consistent career as a joiner. 

"He was a joiner since age 16, and was employed consistently until he suffered a serious hand injury that resulted in the loss of his livelihood," the solicitor said, adding that his client knew that his actions were "unacceptable".

Deputy District Judge Archer said that Armstrong was "lucky he didn't injure a pedestrian". 

The judge imposed a driving disqualification of 15 months and also imposed a £100 fine.