09 Aug 2022

Portlaoise man drove wrong way drunk


Portlaoise man drove wrong way drunk

A Portlaoise man who drove the wrong way while drunk has been banned from driving and given a suspended jail sentence, with Judge Catherine Staines telling him he could have killed somebody.

Michael Johnson (72), Colliers View, Portlaoise, was charged with motoring offences including dangerous driving, drink driving, and having no licence or insurance, on September 20, 2016.

Inspector Ollie Baker gave evidence that the accused drove the wrong way up Bridge Street before he entered Main Street and drove up the wrong way.

He continued onto Grattan Street, crossing the white line, and eventually stopped on the Link Road, where he was arrested, said Insp Baker.

He was found to have 161mg of alchol per 100ml of blood.

The accused had a previous conviction for drink driving.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that following this incident, her client had been sentenced to prison for similar behaviour, spending eight days in the Midlands Prison.

She said this had been an enormous lesson to him and had been monumental in focusing his mind.

Ms Fitzpatrick said she did not believe he would trouble the court again.

She said he had no car now and had stopped drinking, and was on medication for anxiety, part of which was due to his ongoing appearances in court.

Judge Catherine Staines said she had six months’ prison in mind, however, he had served some time in prison and this seemed to have “hit the nail on the head for him”.

“You could have killed somebody, that was outrageous driving,” she told the accused.

For dangerous driving, the judge imposed six months in prison, suspended for one year, and disqualified him from driving for eight years.

The charges of drink driving and having no licence were taken into consideration, with an eight-year driving disqualification imposed on each charge.

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