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'Foolish' drink driver took car to shop to get cigarettes


McAtamney admitted he had been drinking to a garda. Photo: Damien Eagers

McAtamney admitted he had been drinking to a garda. Photo: Damien Eagers

McAtamney admitted he had been drinking to a garda. Photo: Damien Eagers

A motor industry worker caught drink driving had made a "foolish decision" to take a car to a shop for cigarettes while over the limit.

Nigel McAtamney (31) was having trouble maintaining control of the vehicle when he was spotted by gardai.

He was banned from driving for two years at Blanchardstown District Court. Judge David McHugh also fined him €300.

McAtamney, a father-of-two of The Old Rectory, Lucan, pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving without insurance.

The court heard the incident happened at Lucan Road on June 28 last.

Garda Laura Conlon said she was on duty when she saw the accused's car being driven in what she thought was a careless manner at 1.53am.

The driver appeared to be having trouble maintaining control of the vehicle, she said.

"It appears your hunch was correct," Judge McHugh told the garda.

On stopping the car, Garda Conlon spoke to him and noticed that the accused's eyes were bloodshot, he smelled strongly of alcohol and was slurring his speech. He admitted he was not insured to drive the car and that he had been drinking earlier that night.


She arrested the defendant and brought him to Ballyfermot Garda Station, where he provided a breath sample that tested over the alcohol limit.

He made no reply to either charge when they were put to him after caution.

He had no previous convictions of any kind, and he had been working in the motor industry and lost his job, his solicitor Valerie Buckley said. He had been getting around either by bus or bike.

On the night of the incident he had been drinking at home when he made the "foolish decision to drive for cigarettes", Ms Buckley said.

Judge McHugh agreed that it was a "very foolish error of judgement" given that McAtamney had no prior convictions and had obviously worked hard.

"It is unfortunate - there we have it," he said.

He said he was taking account of the fact that the defendant had lost his job, and fined him €200 for the uninsured driving charge and €100 for drink driving.