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Impaired driver referred to DUI court

A man who admitted drink driving when he almost hit a police car was sent to Driving Under the Influence Court yesterday after he said he had been drinking because of family problems.

Otis Johnson, 43, pleaded guilty to the offence in Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that police officers in their vehicle were on Victoria Street in Pembroke when a car ran a red light at the intersection with Parliament Street and almost hit the officers.

They were forced to hit their brakes to avoid being struck and followed the car down Parliament Street where they turned on their emergency lights.

The car pulled over and the driver, later revealed to be Johnson, exited the car with his hands in the air.

He told police that he had come from his mother’s house. He added: “Don’t do this to me, I have three kids.”

The incident happened on August 15 last year.

Johnson, from Pembroke, told the court that he had been in the middle of a bitter divorce and “broke” under the emotional stress.

He added: “When I was at the red light I was having a nervous breakdown and just snapped.”

Johnson said he had stopped drinking since the incident and took part in alcohol awareness courses because “I don’t want that to be part of my life”.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe recommended Johnson take part in the DUI programme.

He adjourned the case until January 12 so that Johnson could observe the programme and released him on $500 bail.

He also ordered Johnson to have a drug assessment and to stay off the roads until he receives further instruction from the court.

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