Strabane Councillor Derek Hussey banned from driving for 3 years

A former West Tyrone MLA has been banned from driving and fined £500 after being convicted of drink driving for a second time.

Strabane District Councillor and Ulster Unionist member Derek Hussey of Garvetagh Road, Castlederg admitted driving while twice the legal limit at Strabane Magistrates Court this morning.

It had been indicated that the 62 year old father or two would contest the charge however he changed his plea prior to today's hearing.

The court heard that on November 26 last year, police were called to a single vehicle incident on the Orchard Road, Strabane. At the scene they found a Nissan Qashqai in a ditch and Hussey standing at the side of the road.

Officers detected a smell of drink from the defendant and he admitted that he had been drinking whiskey in a nearby hotel earlier in the evening.

A subsequent breath test revealed a reading of 76mg in breath, 41mg above the limit.
Representing Hussey was Micahel Neeson of Orr and Roundtree Solicitors, Omagh. He explained that the road had been frosty on the night in question and that this may have contributed to the vehicle ending up in the ditch. He added however that the decision to drive was "foolish in the extreme".

Handing down sentence, District Judge Mr Liam McNally warned the former MLA that if he gets behind the wheel again while under the influence of alcohol, a jail sentence could be on the cards.

Hussey was banned from driving for three years and fined £500.