A drunk driver was four times over the limit when he crashed his car outside an elementary school during pickup time.
artin higgins swerved into the opposite lane and crashed his car just opposite Ballymena Primary School seven weeks ago.
At the time of the incident, hundreds of children were leaving the school gates for the end of the day. A judge spoke of a “at least aggravating circumstance”.
The 44-year-old, who also admitted not having reported an accident, has already been given a temporary driving ban but will have to wait until December to know his full fate.
When confronted in front of his house, which is only a few hundred meters from the elementary school, he did not want to comment.
“I do not want to comment on the court case,” he said.
He confirmed he wasn’t picking up any children at the time of the crash, adding, “It was just a bad day.”
But parents at the school had more to say with an angry mother saying, “He’s a very selfish idiot.”
“What was he thinking about getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking so much alcohol?” said the angry parent.
“It’s unacceptable to do this all the time, but to do it and drive past a school where hundreds of young children are dropping out is breathtaking.
“We knew there had been an accident near the school, but it wasn’t until we read the court details online that we found out how far over the limit it was.
“He’s lucky he didn’t kill a child. I think he’s just a very selfish idiot.”
She says the courts should send him a strong signal when he is sentenced next month.
“He really should go to jail for sending a message and setting an example, but you can bet he won’t,” she said.
“Christmas is just around the corner and we all know that people are starting to take risks and drink driving is on the rise.”
Higgins, of Ballymoney Road in Ballymena, admitted to having drunk-drinked on Ballymoney Road and not reporting a collision as of 3pm on Wednesday 28 September this year.
As reported in Court News, NI Higgins had a breath alcohol reading of 130 – the legal limit is 35.
A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates’ Court that a collision between two vehicles occurred “during collection time just outside a primary school”.
Police saw that a woman’s vehicle was damaged and Higgins’ vehicle was also damaged but he was not in it.
The driver said she was pulled into traffic when Higgins’ van swerved into her lane and caused a collision.
She got out and approached him and could smell alcohol from him.
She was able to give a description of the driver to the police, who spoke to him 200 meters from the scene of the accident.
District Judge Nigel Broderick issued an interim driving ban, saying he wanted a prejudice report as “anyone who drives With that amount of alcohol near a school at pickup time, that’s an aggravating feature, to say the least.”
The case was adjourned to December 15.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/drink-driver-was-four-times-over-limit-when-he-crashed-car-outside-primary-school-during-pick-up-time-42151380.html The drunk driver was over the limit four times when he was involved in an accident during pickup time by car in front of the elementary school