A DRIVER who ploughed into a vehicle carrying a father and his two children claimed he fell asleep at the wheel as he headed home from a friend's party.
Cian O'Flynn (20), had cannabis in his system, but claimed this was because he had been smoking the drug in Amsterdam, two weeks before this incident.
A court heard O'Flynn's car went across three lanes and crashed into the side of Terry Maguire's van, sending it it a spin.
Judge Patrick Clyne fined O'Flynn €850 and banned him from driving for four years.
The defendant, of Marina Village in Malahide, was found guilty before Swords District Court of drug driving. He also admitted to careless driving.
Mr Maguire said he was bringing his two children to Funtasia Waterpark in Drogheda around 10am last June 30. He turned onto the R132 Swords Road from Boroimhe Road, heading right towards the airport roundabout and the M1.
Mr Maguire said he saw a car in the bus lane, coming towards him on the R132.
It started to veer onto the normal lane and then came onto his lane.
Mr Maguire said he moved onto the bus lane, but the car continued to drift towards him.
He had nowhere else to go, so he sped up, trying to get past the vehicle, but it crashed into the driver's side of his van, spinning it around.
He said he walked up to O'Flynn, who told him: "I think I fell asleep".
Mr Maguire also said the defendant was "incoherent".
The court heard Mr Maguire was in shock and cried with relief when he realised his children were unhurt.
Garda Michael McCabe said that when he spoke to O'Flynn, his eyes were heavily dilated and there was a smell of cannabis in the car.
Gda McCabe said O'Flynn, an apprentice hairdresser, was taken to Swords Garda Station where he provided a urine sample to gardai. He had alcohol in his system but it was below the legal driving limit. The sample also tested positive for cannabis.
In his evidence, O'Flynn denied he had been smoking cannabis at a party in a friend's house the night before, or that gardai got a smell of cannabis from his car when they spoke to him.
He admitted he had smoked cannabis while on holiday in Amsterdam in mid-June.
Defence lawyer Cathal O'Braonain claimed the garda did not properly form his opinion, but this was rejected by the judge.
Banning O'Flynn from driving for four years, Judge Clyne said the accident was "very serious".