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20/09/2021

Longford District Court: Off the road for six years after drink driving in Drumlish

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Road Traffic Act was sentenced to three months in prison which the presiding judge suspended following a hearing into the matter.

The defendant was also disqualified from driving for six years and fined €500.


Brian McQuaide, Guaige, Ballinamuck, Co Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with dangerous driving and driving under the influence of alcohol at Drumlish, Co Longford on May 5, 2017.


Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Donal Sweeney said that on the date in question the defendant provided a reading of 307mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.


He said the defendant had been drinking vodka at home and then drove his car in the direction of Drumlish village.
However, the court was told a member of An Garda Síochána was on patrol in the area and spotted the defendant driving in a dangerous manner.


“Garda Lynn was on patrol along the Longford Road in Drumlish when he observed a car driving in front of him.
“The defendant struck the kerb, then performed a U-turn and travelled back where it began picking up speed.


“As the driver entered Drumlish, the car swerved to avoid a collision.”
The court then heard that gardaí eventually stopped the defendant and detected a strong smell of alcohol coming from him.


In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Bríd Mimnagh said that her client had a drink problem and was well aware that he had to do something about it.


During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said that it was lucky there had not been a road traffic accident that night.


He then told the defendant that he was close to going to prison over his behaviour.
“The only thing that is saving you is that it is Christmas week,” the Judge remarked as he addressed Mr McQuaide directly.
Inspector Sweeney then added, “Only for Garda Lynn there could have been a fatal accident that night”.

Meanwhile, Judge Hughes convicted the defendant, disqualified him from driving for six years and fined him €500 before handing down a suspended prison sentence.

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