A man who lost the use of his left arm to a drunk driver 15 years ago was himself banned for drink driving for three years in the District Court this week (March 14 ).
Liam Hughes (36 ), with an address at Inis Buí, Irishtown, Athlone was stopped at The Crescent, Athlone on January 21, and when breathalysed later at the station, returned a reading of 87 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Inspector Nicholas Farrell told the court that this amount of alcohol resulted in a mandatory three-year ban.
Hughes, who was pleading guilty, had two public order offences struck out.
His solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn, told the court how his client had recently returned to full-time education, was doing a foundation course at the AIT, and hoped to begin a degree next year.
Mr Quinn explained how, on the night in question, his client had been drinking at home with a friend, had slipped and injured himself, and was brought by the friend to hospital to get stitched up.
Hughes the defendant explained to Hughes the judge that the reason he was driving back from the hospital was that “I didn’t want to walk back through town covered in blood. I didn’t want the Guards to pick me up for fighting”.
Noting the defendant’s left arm was in a secure sling, Judge Hughes enquired if this was the injury from that night, but was told that that arm was paralysed after Hughes had been the victim of a drunk driver in 1997.
After hearing that Hughes’s only income was €225 per week disability allowance since this accident, he only applied a fine of €150 along with the three-year ban.