Community service for drink-driver

A LITHUANIAN national who appealed a four-month prison sentence handed down in the district court for drink driving was given community service in lieu of jail time at last week’s circuit court in Portlaoise.

A LITHUANIAN national who appealed a four-month prison sentence handed down in the district court for drink driving was given community service in lieu of jail time at last week’s circuit court in Portlaoise.

Zigmantas Pocius, 11 Rathevan Close, Portlaoise, was detected driving on the Borris Road in Portlaoise on December 2 last year. Garda evidence outlined that Pocius was travelling on the wrong side of the road with no lights on. When stopped by the gardaí, there was a smell of alcohol on his breath and he was arrested. An intoxilyser reading showed 92mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

He had a previous conviction for drink driving and was disqualified from driving at the time. When he appeared before the district court, Poncius was sentenced to four months in prison and disqualified from driving for six years.

At last week’s circuit court, defence, Mr Rory Hanniffy said that Poncius was appealing the prison sentence, as he is the sole provider for his wife and two children.

“His actions were unforgiveable,” admitted Mr Hanniffy.

“His actions were outrageous,” countered Judge Hunt.

Mr Hanniffy told the judge that Pocius had since got rid of his car and was no longer drinking. Judge Hunt said that he was not sure what purpose such a short custodial sentence would serve and he instead imposed 160 hours’ community service in lieu of the original four-month sentence.