Drink driver’s taxi smash

A Derry driver who was almost three times the drink limit when he smashed into the rear of a taxi, has been banned for 15 months .

Peter Cassidy, aged 47, appeared at Derry Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday charged with driving with excess alcohol in breath.

The charge was the result of an incident on the Strand Road at 2.30am on May 17 of this year, the court was told .

The court heard how a taxi driver had attempted to turn off the Strand Road when Cassidy rear-ended him.

The court also heard the injured party then called on his colleagues for assistance who blocked the defendant as he tried to leave the scene.

No-one was seriously injured in the smash, the court heard.

Cassidy, whose address was given in court as Ardanlee, told the investigating PSNI officers: “I heard them taxi drivers trying to make up some story.”

The court, sitting under District Judge Philip Mateer, was informed that when breath tested, Cassidy had 100mgs of alcohol in 100 mls of breath - close to three times the legal limit.

The Judge described the reading as “grossly high”.

“I can’t understand how someone so intoxicated saw fit to drive. Drunk people are the last to realise how drunk they are,” the judge said.

A defence solicitor described the incident as “completely out of character” for his client.

The court heard in mitigation that the 47 year-old defendant had 27 years’ unblemished driving history.

Judge Mateer fined the defendant a total of £550 and disqualified him from driving for a period of 15 months.