A 27-YEAR-OLD Nigerian woman, who drove along the Luas line now understands that the potential outcome of her actions could have been 'catastrophic', Balbriggan District Court was told last week.
Julie Amiaya, Trimblestown, Balbriggan, was convicted of refusing to give a breath sample at Ballyfermot Garda station following her arrest on suspicion of drink driving along the Red Luas line between the Red Cow and Kylemore on February 15. Garda Peter Wallace told the court that he had received a call that a car was obstructing the Luas line. He found the defendant in a car which was parked on the Luas tracks and she said that she had taken a wrong turn and was not sure how to get her car off the line.
Garda Wallace said that her eyes were bloodshot and her speech was impaired. Ms. Amiaya was brought by gardaí to Ballyfermot Garda station where she twice refused to give breath specimens. Gda. Wallace added that the defendant had been made fully aware that not complying with the request for a breath speciment to test for the presence of alcohol was an offence. Fiona Kelly, solicitor for Ms. Amiaya, said that her client has never come to garda attention before and was extremely apologetic for the incident. Ms. Kelly said that her client was not aware of the breath testing apparatus.
'She understands the potential outcome could have been catastrophic,' said Ms. Kelly. 'She was upset and scared to find herself on the Luas line in an area she was not familiar with.' Ms. Kelly added that her client had been at a wedding and had taken a 'Red Bull with a drop of Aniseed in it' but had not thought she was over the legal alcohol limit. Ms. Amiaya, she said, would be willing to undertake community service work. Judge Dermot Dempsey commented that if the defendant was familiar with the rules of the road, she should know that you do not drive along a Luas line. Imposing a €1,000 fine and a four-year driving ban, Judge Dermot Dempsey said that community service in this case was not appropriate.