A two-car road traffic collision led to both drivers appearing at last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court charged with drink driving.
Inspector John Lawless gave evidence to the court that the two-vehicle road traffic accident occurred on March 15 this year, at the Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise.
Arising from the collision, both Jack Cierzan and Gerard Delaney, Portlaoise, were arrested and brought to the garda station.
A breath sample revealed that Cierzan had 91mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, while Delaney was found to have 86mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
The inspector said that Delaney had one previous conviction for drink driving, dating back to 2005 when he was disqualified from driving for two years.
Defence for Delaney was Mr Philip Meagher.
Mr Meagher said his client, a 36-year-old man with one young child, works in Dublin and so a driving disqualification will cause him huge difficulty.
Mr Meagher said that on Friday, March 14, which was “a builder’s holiday”, Delaney had the day off and so had gone to the pub. The next day he got up and did a number of jobs, before he went to the pub to watch the rugby. He had a few pints, which Mr Meagher described as “a topping up exercise”.
“He shouldn’t have gone near the car,” admitted Mr Meagher, adding that Delaney is now trying to give up drink as he had learnt a salutary lesson from the incident and had attended his first meeting to deal with his drinking.
“This is a very high reading,” said Judge Catherine Staines, “this is his second conviction for drink driving.”
Judge Staines imposed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years on Delaney’s own bond of €100. Delaney was also disqualified from driving for four years.
“If you drink drive again you will definitely go to prison,” she warned him. “You’re putting your life at risk and other people’s lives at risk.”
The judge convicted and fined Cierzan €300 and disqualified him from driving for three years.