Suspended jail for drink driver

A foreign national charged with drink driving who didn’t appear to be taking his court appearance seriously was last week given a suspended jail sentence by Judge Catherine Staines.

A foreign national charged with drink driving who didn’t appear to be taking his court appearance seriously was last week given a suspended jail sentence by Judge Catherine Staines.

Before last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court was Eugenijus Petkevicius, with an address at 32 Rathevan Close, Portlaoise, charged with exceeding the alcohol limit at Colliers Lane, Portlaoise, on November 30 last year.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that Petkevicius failed a breath test at a mandatory alcohol checkpoint and was brought to the garda station, where he was revealed to have 37mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

He had previous convictions, including one for drink driving some six weeks before the latest offence.

“You were convicted of drink driving on October 9, then six weeks later you were doing it again,” said Judge Staines.

The defendant, through an interpreter, initially misconstrued what the judge was saying, and claimed “that never happened”. After the question was repeated and clarified, through the interpreter Petkevicius said he could offer no explanation for drink driving six weeks after his previous conviction.

“Is there any reason you shouldn’t be in prison?” asked the judge.

The defendant merely shrugged.

“I don’t think he’s taking this very seriously,” said Judge Staines.

Judge Staines imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for three years. The judge also disqualified Petkevicius from driving for six years.