09 Aug 2022

Laois man given time until driving ban starts


Laois man given time until driving ban starts

A Mountmellick man whose appeal against a conviction for drink driving was rejected by Portlaoise Circuit Court has been granted a postponement to the driving disqualification until October.

Thomas Blake, Acragar, Mountmellick, challenged the charge of drink driving when it first came before Portlaoise District Court in September of 2016.

At that hearing, Garda Niall Byrne said that at 1.55am on the morning of July 10, 2016, he observed a car on Main Street Portlaoise reverse into a parked car, then drive forward into another parked vehicle. The first struck vehicle suffered no damage, but the second car did.

The driver then attempted to continue on, but Garda Byrne blocked his path with the patrol car.

When he spoke to the driver, Thomas Blake, Garda Byrne said he got a strong smell of alcohol and the accused’s words were slurred. Garda Byrne arrested him and brought him to Portlaoise Garda Station.

Garda Byrne told the court that Blake said he had drunk approximately ten pints of Carlsberg. A reading at Portlaoise Garda Station showed he had 76mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Defence, Mr David Staunton BL, made a number of submissions to the court concerning the processing of the accused at the garda station. However, Judge Aeneas McCarthy ruled against Mr Staunton’s submissions, and convicted the accused.

Blake was fined €300 and disqualified from driving for three years. He subsequently appealed this before the circuit court, but was unsuccessful.

When the case returned to the circuit court recently, the appellant applied for a postponement to the disqualification.

He told the court he is doing shift work and is reliant on public transport to get to work.

The driving ban was postponed until October 1.

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