A 49-year-old man who had drink taken when he drove off after crashing into a car in Durrow has been disqualified from driving and given a suspended jail sentence.
William Lynch (49), Bestfield, Athy Road, Carlow, was charged with road traffic offences, and refusing to give a sample to gardaí.
Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that on November 11 last year, garda responded to the scene of a traffic incident at Cullohill. They found a car in the middle of the road, with the defendant sitting in the driving seat.
He was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, but at the garda station he refused to provide a sample.
It transpired that the accused had earlier hit a parked vehicle in The Square, Durrow.
Lynch had 28 previous convictions, including one for drink driving in 2003, and six for no insurance.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said that the accused was a single man with two children, who was on social welfare.
He had been living in Rathdowney prior to the incident, but at the time he was staying with his sister and her family.
On the day of the offence, he was returning to the Carlow area in a vehicle he’d purchased for the purpose of getting back to Carlow.
Mr Meagher said that the vehicle suffered a blowout and Lynch clipped a car in Durrow, but instead of stopping he drove on.
However, “during the journey the car gave up the ghost,” said Mr Meagher, adding that Lynch had some drink taken on the day.
In relation to refusing to provide a sample, Mr Meagher said that the accused panicked at the station when he saw a doctor arriving and wouldn’t give a sample.
Defence concluded by saying that the accused’s insurance had covered the damage to the vehicle in Durrow.
Noting that this was the accused’s second conviction for drink driving, an offence exacerbated by the fact that he had caused an accident and left the scene, Judge Catherine Staines imposed six months in prison, suspended for two years, and disqualified him from driving for six years.
The charge of dangerous driving was taken into consideration, and a two-year driving disqualification was imposed.