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Bus driver who crashed into inspector's car was seven times over limit

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Driving ban: William Kane crashed his bus after drinking at a funeral

Driving ban: William Kane crashed his bus after drinking at a funeral

Driving ban: William Kane crashed his bus after drinking at a funeral

A Dublin Bus driver was seven-and-a-half times over the legal drink-driving limit when he crashed his bus into a car belonging to his chief inspector.

William Kane (52), who has since been suspended from his job, took the "reckless decision" to drink alcohol before his shift as he had attended the funeral of a friend, Swords District Court heard.

While pulling out of Strand Road in Portmarnock, Co Dublin, he crashed the bus into the front of a car belonging to a chief inspector for Dublin Bus, who had parked his car nearby.

There were no passengers on the bus at the time, the court heard.

Kane gave gardaí a breath sample which showed he had 68mg of alcohol in his system per 100ml of breath.

The legal limit for a bus driver is 9mg.

The defendant, of Woodbine Park in Edenmore, Dublin 5, pleaded guilty to drink driving on Strand Road, Portmarnock, on November 21, 2018.

He has no previous convictions and has worked for Dublin Bus for more than two decades.

Defence barrister Barbara Fleming told the court the defendant worked as a bus driver for 25 years and had an unblemished record.

"He did notice a deterioration in his mental health and alcohol use but he had been alcohol-free for the 18 months prior to this incident," said Ms Fleming.

"He had been to the funeral of a friend prior to his shift and took the reckless decision to consume alcohol," she explained, adding there were no excuses for his actions.

"He is very lucky it didn't result in injuries and the bus was empty at the time," said Ms Fleming.

"He was shaken to the core and checked into St Pat's for five weeks and completed a residential treatment programme."

She said the married man's family were furious with him and said that he had been suspended from Dublin Bus pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

"He will never work as a bus driver again and has difficult times ahead as he was the main breadwinner of the family," she said.

The barrister added that the court was "not likely to see him again".

Judge Miriam Walsh commended the defendant for his early guilty plea and noted his family was standing by him and that he had attended rehabilitation.

She imposed a three-year driving ban, and convicted and fined him €450 for the offence.

Irish Independent