‘Confused’ drink driver crashed into oncoming vehicle

A defence lawyer said a drink driver originally from Slovakia who crashed into an oncoming vehicle after going the wrong way on a roundabout in Ballymena had been “confused” as to what side of the road to be on.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 2:10 pm

He was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court where Ivana Ivanicova (39), with an address listed as Staffa Drive in Ballymena, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Cushendall Road Roundabout and driving with excess alcohol.

A prosecutor said at 8.15pm on December 12, 2019, police were called to a two vehicle collision where a vehicle had travelled “anti-clockwise” on the roundabout.

The defendant, who had no previous record, had an alcohol in blood reading of 185 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - the legal limit is 80.

The defence barrister said the defendant works as a day care assistant and on the date in question had been at a friend’s house delivering Christmas presents and had then taken drink. He added that the defendant “was driving home drunk. She had gone the wrong way round a roundabout and hit a car”. He said the defendant did “not remember anything” from being in her friend’s house until after the accident.

The lawyer said on the date in question the defendant had been “confused” and added: “The only explanation she can offer in terms of being on the wrong side of the roundabout was that when she learned to drive at home in Slovakia they drive on the other side of the road”. He said the defendant “apologised profusely” to everyone involved.

The barrister said Ivanicova now suffers from PTSD as a result of the collision.

District Judge Nigel Broderick banned the defendant from driving for 20 months along with a £200 fine.

He said it was a “very high reading” and there had been a road traffic collision although it did not appear there were serious injuries.