Judge David Waters has disqualified a man from driving for six years after he was caught drink-driving for a second time “at the high end of the limit” - on the morning after a night in which he had been drinking.
Joe Horgan (43) of Trien, Kilmorna, Listowel – who had a previous conviction for drink-driving from 2013 – was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving on July 12, 2020, at Courthouse Road, Listowel. A subsequent urine test showed his alcohol level to be more than three-and-a-half times the legal limit.
Garda Michael McCarthy told the court that while operating a random checkpoint at the address, he observed a grey van driving towards him and noted that the driver, Mr Horgan, was not wearing a seat belt.
After he directed Mr Horgan to the side of the road, he spoke to him and cautioned him for not wearing a seat belt. During his conversation with Mr Horgan, Garda McCarthy noted a smell of alcohol from the defendant, and that his eyes appeared glazed, he told the Court.
Garda McCarthy formed the opinion that Mr Horgan was driving while under the influence of an intoxicant, and he informed him of this opinion before carrying out a breath test, which Mr Horgan failed.
Garda McCarthy arrested him on suspicion of drink driving at 11.34am and he was conveyed to Tralee Garda Station at 12.30pm. Mr Horgan subsequently provided a urine sample which showed a concentration of 250mg of alcohol per 100ml urine.
Defence solicitor John Cashell said his client’s previous drink-driving offence dated back eight years. He said his client co-operated fully with Gardaí, and after drinking in the early hours of the morning, Mr Horgan thought he would be okay to drive but this proved not to be the case.
Judge David Waters noted that Mr Horgan was “on the high end of the limit” during this and his previous drink-driving offence. He convicted and fined Mr Horgan €400, and disqualified him from driving for six years.
Recognisance has been set in the event of an appeal.