A TOP detective who crashed an unmarked garda car on the M50 after he spent hours in a pub has been fined €500 and given a two-year driving ban.
Detective Garda Kevin Keys, who is attached to Mountjoy station in Dublin, lost control of a Ford Mondeo -- which collided with a Hyundai Sante Fe 4x4 driven by Gareth Wooster, who did not sustain serious injuries, on February 6, 2010.
Yesterday at Dublin District Court, Det Keys was found guilty of a charge of dangerous driving. The judge said it was clear he had drink taken.
He dismissed a charge for taking the Mondeo without authorisation from his station.
The defence asked the judge to note that Det Keys had no prior criminal convictions and a hitherto unblemished record.
Judge Gibbons said Det Keys, who had denied both charges, was spoken of highly by his superiors. He gave the detective one month to pay the fine or else he will face a 14-day jail term.
The detective had told investigators from the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) that he was delivering a witness summons and had drank four or five lager shandies in a pub earlier that day but was fit to drive.
Another detective had told the court that it was possible Det Keys had six pints of lager.
Det Keys had been rostered to work that day from 9am to 5pm, but at about 2pm he went to a pub in Phibsborough, in Dublin, and stayed there with colleagues until 7.30pm.
Det Keys, who broke six ribs and suffered a punctured lung, was brought to Tallaght hospital but did not go for treatment.
When questioned by the GSOC, he claimed he thought the waiting list would be too long and he had denied that he had left so he could avoid a drink-drive test.
At about 4am, a garda sergeant and a GSOC officer spoke to him at his home. However, too much time had elapsed to carry out a breathalyser test.
He said he had no recollection of the crash.