Drunk son crashed driving home from dad’s funeral

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A grieving son who crashed his car into another vehicle while two and a half times the drink-drive limit has been given a long driving ban.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard Damian Galvin, from Whelley, was returning from his father’s funeral wake when he ran his Ford Focus into the back of a BMW on Crompton Street on January 21.

The court was told Galvin, of Lamb Street, also nearly caused two other accidents with his erratic driving and told a police officer he had “only had six pints” before getting behind the wheel.

The justices banned Galvin, who pleaded guilty, from the road for three years and also ordered him to take part in drink-driving rehabilitation courses.

Mike Ardern, prosecuting, told the court that the driver of the BMW was travelling in slow-moving traffic when he felt a thud with an impact which caused both him and his passenger to hit their heads.

The driver looked round to see a white Ford Focus with a male driver and female passengers, and details were exchanged at the roadside.

Mr Ardern said the driver was convinced the motorist in the Focus had been drinking as he could smell alcohol on his breath, was staggering in the road and had red eyes, so he advised him to leave the car and take a taxi home.

However, the BMW driver saw the Ford a short time later and said the driver nearly caused two further collisions.

The police were called and an officer traced the registration plate to Galvin’s address, where he and his mother matched the descriptions from the roadside.

When tested Galvin, 43, was found to have 88 microgrammes (mg) of alcohol per 100ml of breath compared to the legal drink-driving limit of 35mg.

Mr Ardern said: “In interview he said he had consumed alcohol because it was his father’s funeral before driving the short distance to his house.

“He was remorseful and said he had not considered the consequences of driving with excess alcohol.”

Andrew Stock, defending, said Galvin was taking his mother home from the funeral after she became unwell and unsuccessfully tried to hail a taxi before deciding to drive.

Mr Stock added: “He made the regrettable and foolish decision to get into his own car.

“To his credit, he said straight away what he had done when the police arrived and co-operated throughout at the station. He offers genuine remorse and the loss of his licence will be keenly felt both by him and his mother.”

The magistrates banned Galvin from driving for 36 months and gave him a nine-month community order to complete an alcohol programme with the probation service, with a 25 per cent reduction in the ban if he completes a further drink-driving rehabilitation programme.

Passing sentence, chairwoman of the bench Sandra Ann Mercer said: “We have taken this matter very seriously.

“We have a duty to protect the public from this kind of behaviour.”

Galvin was also fined £100 and ordered to pay £75 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.