A DRIVER reached speeds of 120kph on a country road and overtook dangerously into oncoming traffic while being chased by gardai, a court was told.
Gareth Byrne (33) begged a judge not to ban him from driving, saying he needs his licence for work.
Judge John Lindsay fined the defendant €200, but did not disqualify him from driving.
Byrne, with an address at Willow View, Celbridge, Co Kildare, admitted before Tallaght District Court to careless driving at Garter Lane, Saggart, on November 17.
He was originally charged with dangerous driving, but Judge Lindsay said he would accept a plea to the lesser charge of careless driving.
Sgt Bernard Jones said gardai were on mobile patrol around 8.45pm when they encountered Byrne.
The sergeant said officers activated the blue lights and sirens on the patrol car and indicated for Byrne to pull in.
He said Byrne continued ahead, overtaking vehicles dangerously into oncoming traffic.
Sgt Jones said Byrne was chased by gardai for a short period towards a roundabout.
He said the defendant reached speeds of 120kph during the short pursuit.
He then stopped and pulled into the side of the road when he saw the gardai.
The court heard that the defendant has five previous convictions.
He had received a two-year driving ban in 2007 for a drink-driving related offence.
Defence lawyer George Burns said Byrne works as a supervisor, and he handed in a letter from his employer.
Mr Burns said the defendant regretted his behaviour and had apologised.
He said Byrne needs his driving licence for work, and a disqualification would put his employment at risk.
Imposing the fine, Judge Lindsay said he would not ban Byrne from driving.