Court - Jailed for third drink driving

Portlaoise man drove over the limit while disqualified

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A Portlaoise man convicted of his third drink driving offence who drove while disqualified has been given a five month prison sentence and put off the road for ten years.

At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Jonathan Johnston (33), 197 Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, was charged with drink driving, failing to stop, resisting arrest, and driving without a licence or insurance, at the Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, on August 15 this year.

Inspector Jer Glavin gave evidence that the accused was detected with 76mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Johnston also resisted arrest and refused to cooperate with the arresting garda, said the inspector.

The accused had two previous convictions, a drink driving conviction in 2008, and a similar offence in 2015, for which he was disqualified from driving for six year.

Defence, barrister Ms Louise Troy said her client realised the very serious situation he was in.

She said her client was in a relationship and had a five-month-old baby, and his partner did not drive.

Ms Troy went on to say that Johnston had to drive on the day to get to his job as a bar manager in Tullamore, but he had since lost this job as a result of the offence.

He has recently secured employment as a duty manager at a hotel in Naas.

Defence said that the accused is now undertaking alcohol counselling and had attended a number of sessions. He was extremely remorseful and would like to apologise to the gardaí for his actions, Ms Troy concluded.

Judge Catherine Staines noted this was the accused’s third drink driving conviction. He had been disqualified from driving for six years in 2015, and eight months later he was again driving while disqualified.

“I have to impose a prison sentence,” said Judge Staines.

The judge imposed five months in prison, and disqualified the accused from driving for ten years.

The charge of no insurance was taken into consideration, and a six-year driving ban imposed.

Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.