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Teenage driver tried to escape gardai in panic over drug use

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Adam Butler panicked on seeing a garda checkpoint

Adam Butler panicked on seeing a garda checkpoint

Adam Butler panicked on seeing a garda checkpoint

A teenage cannabis user tried to escape gardai at a road checkpoint in a panic.

Adam Butler (19) raced off from the checkpoint and drove at speed for three kilometres along narrow country roads before he pulled over to the side of the road, a court was told.

Smoking

His defence lawyer said he had panicked when he saw the checkpoint because he had been smoking cannabis the day before.

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined Butler, of Sandford Wood, Swords, €400 at Swords District Court for drug driving, which he admitted, and disqualified him from driving for four years.

The court heard that the incident took place at Oldtown, near Ballyboughal, on August 6 last.

Garda Mark McKenna said he was conducting a checkpoint in relation to another investigation when he saw Butler's Volkswagen car approach the checkpoint.

The car slowed down and did a U-turn before taking off.

The garda said Butler then turned left and failed to check if there were oncoming cars at a junction.

Gda McKenna said Butler continued for about three kilometres before he pulled in.

He detected a strong smell of cannabis when he spoke to Butler, who was taken to Balbriggan Garda Station.

The defendant, who has no criminal record, provided a urine sample which tested positive for cannabis.

Deirdre Flannery, defending, said Butler panicked and turned away when he saw the lights of the gardai checkpoint because he had been smoking cannabis the previous day.

She said the defendant had since attended counselling and was now clean of drugs.

He is studying at college to be a personal trainer. 


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