Man fined €1,000 after nearly crashing into bridge

A catering business owner, who was fined €1,000 for nearly crashing into a bridge while drunk behind the wheel, learnt that it was far cheaper and safer to get a taxi after a night out.

Brendan Duffy (48 ) with an address at 41 Crestwood, Galway, appeared at Galway District Court this week where he pleaded guilty to refusing to give a breath sample at Galway Garda Station and to dangerous driving at Dyke Road on March 16, 2008. A second dangerous driving charge was withdrawn.

Inspector Ernie White told the court that at 3.50am at Dyke Road the defendant narrowly avoided crashing into a bridge. He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving but refused to give a breath sample.

His solicitor said that Duffy, who runs a catering business, did not have an excuse for refusing to give the breath sample except that he thought he would have been given the opportunity to give a blood or urine sample. The court then heard Duffy, who had never been in court before, was compliant in every other way.

Judge Mary Fahy pointed out that since Duffy lived in the city centre he could have got a taxi home instead of driving. Duffy’s solicitor agreed and then asked Judge Fahy not to disqualify the defendant from driving for a dangerous driving charge.

For failing to give a breath sample, Judge Fahy convicted Duffy and fined him €600 with two months to pay, endorsed his particulars, and disqualified him from driving for a period of four years. For dangerous driving, Duffy was further fined €400 with two months to pay.

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