Drunk driver jailed for three months

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A drink driver has been told he put the lives of other road users at risk after he drove without headlights on.

Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy made the comment as he jailed 22-year-old Stuart Harkness for three months.

Harkness, of Primity Crescent, Newbuildings, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, failing to provide a specimen and failing to stop for police on October 14, last year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the 22-year-old was refused entry to a city centre bar because he was too drunk. He then got into a car and sped off in the direction of Queens Quay.

Police signalled for Harkness to stop however, he continued to drive at speed and crossed the Craigavon Bridge.

The court was told the 22-year-old then made his way along the Victoria Road and turned the headlights off.

Officers arrested Harkness around six hours later and a breath test was carried out which gave a reading of 61mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman told the court his client has no criminal record, comes from a good family and has a good work record.

He added that the inevitable loss of his driving licence will ‘cause difficulties’ for Harkness in the future.

Jailing the 22-year-old for three months, Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy said driving at speed with no lights on was ‘entirely wreckless. You put your own life and the life of other road users at risk’.

He said it was ‘shocking and appalling behaviour’.

The judge also fined Harkness £250 and disqualified him from driving for a year.