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22 Jan 2022

Suspended jail sentence driver on drink and drugs who drove dangerously through Laois town

Suspended sentence for motoring offences in Laois town

A man received a suspended sentence on a number of motoring charges at Portlaoise District Court last Thursday. 

Dermot Dunne, 39, of Ballymooney, Geashill, Co Offaly was charged with no insurance and failure to produce, no NCT and failure to produce and no driving licence and non-display at Sarsfield Street, Mountmellick on April 9, 2020. He was charged with dangerous driving at Pearse Street and Irishtown on the same date and attempting to drive with alcohol at Sarsfield Street on the same date. 

Sgt JJ Kirby told the court that a car was doing 120kph in a 100km zone on the N80 at Derryguile. It failed to stop. It drove through a roundabout at Irishtown and later took a right turn at a T-junction on the wrong side. It stopped eventually when it met an oncoming vehicle. 

Upon stopping, Mr Dunne refused to get out of the vehicle. 

When tested a blood reading showed a reading of 157 for alcohol and benzodiazepines also showed up in his blood. 

Appearing for Mr Dunne, solicitor Philip Meagher said he was a 39-year old single man with a dependent child. On the date in question he was at home. He was working as a machine driver on a government project.  He had got news that because of Covid his job was being closed. He started to drink and take drugs. The roads were extremely quiet at the time and he thought he would take a short drive to clear his head. 

He had lost his job and this was a major setback. He had compounded the situation when he realised he had no insurance when he saw the gardaí. 

He was getting treatment  for depression and anxiety. 

Judge Catherine Staines noted it was drink driving, he had driven dangerously. He had pleaded guilty early. She sentenced him to six months, suspended for two years and disqualified him for six years. 

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