A man who persistently drove with a counterfeit Romanian driving licence, once driving into a roundabout while drunk, has been jailed for eight months and disqualified from driving for six years.
At Galway District Court on Monday Vasile Chivaran (34 ), with an address at 116 Rahylin Glebe, Ballybane, pleaded guilty to driving without valid driving licence and insurance, drink driving, and being in possession of a counterfeit Romanian driving licence at Oran Hill on May 19, 2011, and to driving without a valid driving licence and insurance, and being in possession of as well as using a counterfeit Romanian driving licence at Castlepark Road, Ballybane, on Janaury 19, 2011.
The court heard that on January 19, 2011, at 12.42pm a garda checkpoint had been set up in the Castlepark Road area. The defendant’s car was stopped and he produced a Romanian driving licence which was suspicious. The driving licence was seized and sent to Garda Headquarters for analysis and proved to be counterfeit. On May 19, 2011, there was a report of a traffic collision at Oran Hill at 1.40am. Gardai arrived to find that only one car, driven by the defendant, had been involved in the incident. Chivaran was found to be driving a different vehicle of which he had lost control and hit the roundabout, resulting in a wheel coming off. He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving later, giving an intoxiliser reading of 52 mgs of alcohol per 100ml of breath. When asked to produce a driving licence he gave gardai a different Romanian licence which was sent to Garda Headquarters and also turned out to be counterfeit.
Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn acknowledged that this is a very serious situation for his client who “acted stupidly without even thinking of what might happen if apprehended”. “His actions were ill-conceived,” said Mr MacLynn who added that Chivaran, a single Romanian national, has been in the country since 2007 and had not come to Garda notice before. The court heard that Chivaran had previously worked as a fisherman and in security but recently became unemployed.
Inspector Ernie Whyte then told the court that Chivaran has previous convictions in his homeland which include convictions for kidnapping and rape as well as thefts. In this jurisdiction Chivaran has previous convictions for public order offences and for driving without insurance and failure to produce insurance.
“He goes out on January 19, at that stage he should have known the game was up, then he went out again in May and compounds it with a Section 49 [drink driving]. He was very persistent. In view of his convictions in Romania I am surprised he didn’t keep his head down and stop driving,” said Judge Mary Fahy before convicting Chivaran and imposing a total of eight months and disqualifing him from driving for six years. Leave to appeal was also granted.