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Drunk driver who hit tree told garda ‘I never drink and drive’

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Luis Ferreira had been in a casino and drinking wine

Luis Ferreira had been in a casino and drinking wine

Luis Ferreira had been in a casino and drinking wine

A drunk driver who crashed into a tree had been in a casino and had three or four glasses of wine, a court heard.

Luis Ferreira (46) caused significant damage to the front of his vehicle and to the tree in the crash.

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined him €400 and banned him from driving for three years.

Ferreira, of The Fairways, Seabrook Manor, Portmarnock, Co Dublin, was found guilty of drunk driving.

Garda Sean Grennan told Swords District Court he was operating a checkpoint in Strand Road, Portmarnock, at 11.45pm on October 16 last year when he was alerted to an accident a short distance up the road.

Garda Grennan said he went to the scene and found Ferreira in the driver’s seat of a BMW, which had crashed into a tree.

Ferreira told him he had come from Malahide. He also said he had been to a casino, had three or four glasses of wine and the accident had taken place about 45 minutes earlier.

Garda Grennan said Ferreira told him, “I know I made a mistake” and “I don’t know why I drove. I never drink and drive”.

Ferreira was taken to Ballymun garda station where he provided a breath specimen with a reading of 67mgs of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Asking for the charge to be struck out, defence solicitor Bernard Stobie argued that gardaí did not have a specific time of driving.

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Mr Stobie also said Ferreira was clearly in shock when he spoke to garda Grennan and was possibly confused about when the accident occurred.

Judge Dempsey said he accepted the garda’s evidence and found Ferreira guilty.

The court heard Ferreira worked in hospitality and was in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment.


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