A PORTARLINGTON man who was found to have been disqualified from driving when he was caught drunk behind the wheel of his car was last week banned from the road for six years and sentenced to community service.
Declan Cooney, of 46 Crann Nua, Port, was charged with exceeding the alcohol limit, and driving without a licence or insurance. The offences were committed at Spa Street, Portarlington, on October 20 this year.
Garda Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Cooney was arrested at 2.02am and brought to the garda station, where an intoxilyser reading revealed he had 133mg of alcohol on his breath.
The court heard he had six previous convictions and was disqualified from driving at the time, having been put off the road for three years in 2010.
Defence solicitor, Mr Philip Meagher said that the facts of the case were completely accepted by his client.
Mr Meagher explained that Cooney had received some extremely distressing news about his mother on the night, and so he decided to take his partner’s car to the pub for a number of drinks. Mr Meagher told Judge Catherine Staines that the pub is on the corner of Spa Street and people park their cars in a nearby alleyway, which can cause problems for local residents.
Cooney’s car was parked in the alleyway and during the night a resident of a nearby property requested that the car be moved. The publican filtered the message out to the patrons of the pub and when Cooney realised it was his car he drove it around the corner.
“His better judgement was clouded by drink and the distressing news about his mother,” said Mr Meagher. “He wasn’t thinking straight.”
Judge Staines noted that Cooney had a previous conviction for no insurance, and he was driving while disqualified with a very high alcohol reading.
“He was disqualified from driving, he should never have got into the car in the first place,” said the judge.
On the drink driving charge, Cooney was given a six month sentence, suspended for two years on his own bond of €100. He was also disqualified from driving for six years.
For no insurance, he was given 200 hours’ community service in lieu of six months in prison.
The charge of having no driving licence was taken into consideration.