01 Oct 2022

Drunk drove lorry 10km on Laois road


Man appeared before Portlaoise District court

A man who drunkenly drove a truck on the motorway as gardai pursued him for ten kilometres was disqualified from driving for three years.

Florin Stefan, 31, of no fixed abode, admitted to the offence at a sitting of Portlaoise District Court. 

Garda Sergeant JJ Kirby said gardai had observed a red Scania articulated lorry swerving across both lanes at Junction 15 on the M7 at 10.30pm on May 8 last. 

The driver “failed to stop for 10 kilomtres” and later gave an alcohol reading of 257mgs blood which carries a three year disqualification. He has no previous convictions, Sgt Kirby said. 

Solicitor Barry Fitzgerald said his client has difficulty with alcohol. The defendant’s new employer appeared in court and said he had since given the man a job on a farm and provided him with accommodation.

 “I employed him on the condition that there is no alcohol,” he explained. 

He said he brought him into town for food and provisions, although he acknowledged that “one day he got away and bought alcohol.” 

He said the man is a good worker but he doesn’t drive. 

“I am 100% sure that he hasn’t had any in four or five weeks,” he remarked. 

He said the man needs to get home to his own country to see his family. 

Judge Michelle Finan said “everyone has a problem with alcohol, everyone in the world.” She warned the defendant not to drink and said: “You are very lucky that this man here came to court for you.” 

Disqualifying the man for three years, Judge Finan said “if you drive again with that disqualification it is very, very likely you will go to prison.” She also ordered him to pay €100 to the court poor box. 

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