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Man failed to stop for police in ’20 mph chase’

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Police spotted a Ballymoney man’s vehicle swerving and then crossing into the path of oncoming traffic and he failed to stop in a ’20mph chase’, Coleraine Magistrates Court heard.

Steven James Mitchell (29), of Mullan Road, admitted failing to provide a specimen of blood on February 2 this year.

A charge of driving with excess alcohol was withdrawn.

A prosecutor said the incident happened at Newbridge Road, Coleraine.

A preliminary specimen showed a reading of 63 – the legal limit is 35 – but the defendant failed to provide a further specimen.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had a script from his GP for Diazepam and the medication had mixed with alcohol.

She said the defendant is a digger driver by occupation and losing his licence was a “serious blow”.

The lawyer said the defendant often would have helped out local farmers.

She said the driving was erratic but he was doing less than 20mph before he pulled in.

“This was not a high speed chase,” the solicitor said.

Banning the defendant from driving for 14 months along with a £250 fine, District Judge Peter King said it was clear alcohol had reacted with the Diazepam.

He noted that the defendant had told police he had taken “mouthwash”.

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