Portlaoise drink driver not fit to have driving licence


A Portlaoise man appealing a prison sentence for his third drink driving offence has been put off the road for 15 years after being told by Judge Keenan Johnson that he is not a fit person to hold a driving licence.

Before the recent circuit court was Jonathan Johnston (33), 197 Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, appealing a five-month prison sentence he received in the district court in October, 2016.

The sentence was imposed for drink driving, failing to stop, resisting arrest, and driving without a licence or insurance, at the Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, on August 15, 2016.

He was also given a ten-year driving disqualification in the district court.

On the date of the offence he was detected with 76mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

State's evidence outlined that he also resisted arrest and refused to cooperate with the arresting garda.

He had two previous convictions for drink driving, and was disqualified at the time.

At the appeal, barrister, Ms Louise Troy said the prison sentence imposed in the district court had been a huge wake-up call and he had made serious attempts to turn his life around.

She said he had drink issues, but he was making huge efforts to rehabilitate his life.

She said he was not drinking alcohol and had joined AA, and probation had assessed him at a low risk of reoffending.

In ruling, Judge Keenan Johnson said the appellant had clearly behaved in a very bad manner.

The judge suspended the five-month sentence for two years, on condition the appellant enter a peace bond of €500; he remain under probation supervision for 12 months; and he remain alcohol free for two years.

The judge said that as the appellant had driven while disqualified, he was not fit to hold a driving licence.

Accordingly, the judge increased the driving ban to 15 years.