Thursday 8 December 2016

'My drink was spiked,' says driver who crashed into taxi on O'Connell Street

Andrew Phelan

Published 21/11/2016 | 20:11

Mary Clarke (31) rear-ended the cab and abandoned her BMW in the middle of O’Connell Street, a court heard
Mary Clarke (31) rear-ended the cab and abandoned her BMW in the middle of O’Connell Street, a court heard

A designated driver who crashed into a taxi while “extremely intoxicated” believed her drink was spiked at a party she had been to before she dropped two other revellers home.

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Mary Clarke (31) rear-ended the cab and abandoned her BMW in the middle of O’Connell Street, a court heard.

She then refused to give gardai a breath sample when she was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

Judge Anthony Halpin fined her €200 and banned her from driving for four years when she appeared before Dublin District Court.

Clarke, of Levmoss Park, Leopardstown, pleaded guilty to failing to produce a breath sample after being arrested following the collision.

She also admitted giving gardai a false or misleading name and address.

The court heard the incident happened on O’Connell Street last August 14. At 4.50am, gardai were flagged down by a taxi driver who said his cab had been rear-ended by a silver BMW.

Gardai were told the driver of the BMW had been in an intoxicated state and had abandoned the car in the middle of the street and fled in the direction of Eden Quay.

UNSTEADY

When gardai caught up with her, Clarke was unsteady on her feet. They walked her back to the car and found her to be “extremely intoxicated”.

She was arrested and taken to Store Street Garda Station, where she refused to give a breath sample.

She had one previous conviction.

Clarke had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and was co-operative with the gardai, her barrister Edel Gilligan said.

She was the car owner and there was “no question” over whether she had been driving it, Ms Gilligan said.

Clarke had been at a party, was a designated driver and believed a drink she had been consuming was spiked, Ms Gilligan continued.

The accused had been dropping two people home and her route did not even go through O’Connell Street.

She did not know what she was doing there.

The defendant was in receipt of social welfare. The taxi driver would be fully compensated, Ms Gilligan added.

Judge Halpin said the acc-used had six months to pay the fine for refusing a sample. The other charge was taken into consideration.

Herald

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