A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged under the Road Traffic Act was disqualified from driving for four years following a hearing into the matter.
Conor Hayes (22), New Rooskey, Rooskey, Co Roscommon appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with driving while under the influence of an intoxicant at Ballinalee Road, Longford on June 16, 2015.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Superintendent Fergus Treanor said that on the date in question gardaí observed the defendant driving a vehicle in an erratic manner along the Ballinalee Road in Longford town.
He said that when the Gardaí eventually spoke to the defendant, there was a very strong smell of cannabis coming from the car and samples later taken and sent for analysis indicated that there was cannabis in the defendant’s blood stream.
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Frank Gearty said that his client had one cannabis joint on the day of the incident.
“He is openly acknowledging that cannabis has been very much part of his life for the last three years,” added Mr Gearty who then pointed out that the defendant “knows very well” that he cannot get behind the wheel of a car until he makes his peace with society and has stopped taking drugs.
“What will it take for you to mend your ways?” asked Judge Hughes, as he addressed the defendant directly.
“I am seeing a drugs counsellor and attending addiction services,” replied the defendant who then pointed out that he was in receipt of a weekly social welfare allowance.
Looking the defendant in the eye Judge Hughes added, “The money you spend on drugs is going to scumbags and drug addiction - clearly - is destroying your life”.
Judge Hughes subsequently disqualified the defendant from driving for a period of four years and fined him €250.
The Judge also ordered a probation report.