Drug driver took his mother’s car and crashed it

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After crashing his mother’s car an 18-year-old man admitted he had been drinking and had smoked cannabis.

Frank McAlinden, Springvale Road, Lawrencetown, was banned from driving for a year last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

He admitted taking a car without the consent of the owner and causing damage to it on May 27 this year, failing to provide a specimen of blood, not having a licence and not having insurance. For the offences he was given a conditional discharge for two years.

The court heard that he stole his mother’s car and collided with a wall on the Springvale Road. His mother did not realise her car was missing until she received a call and when the defendant was found he complained of pain to his wrist and arm

There was a smell of alcohol on his breath and McAlinden admitted he had three or four beers, had smoked cannabis and taken a tablet.

He was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital to receive treatment for his injuries and while there he refused to provide a sample of blood for analysis. When he was later interviewed by police he admitted all of the offences.

A barrister said the offences were precipitated by the defendant’s drug addiction and his GP had referred him for mental health assessment.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said the court was concerned by McAlinden’s offending but had been told he was responding to the support he was receiving for drugs issues and he would not interfere with that.