Ballina man fled scene of accident because he panicked, court hears

A Ballina man who has a number of previous convictions and panicked after he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving after crashing into another car, refused to give a sample to the gardaí, Ballina District Court heard this week. The defendant was given a four year driving ban and a number of fines as a result.

Patrick Cawley, 3 Rath Glas, Rehins Court, Ballina, pulled out in front of another motorist on Hill Street, Ballina, at 7.20pm on March 30 2009 and caused a collision between the two cars. Cawley failed to remain at the scene and kept driving. The other motorist informed the gardaí of the incident and subsequently Cawley was arrested but he refused to give a sample of blood or urine at the Garda station when asked.

Solicitor for Cawley, John Gordon, told the court that his client was a 30-year-old father of four who is settled with a partner. He was insured at the time of the incident and did have a current driving licence, and he admitted that he was involved in the crash, but because of his previous convictions he panicked and failed to face up to it at the time. He went on to say that he had been drinking the night before and left the car in town and went back in to pick it up and stupidly had a pint before he drove home.

Judge Mary Devins convicted and fined Cawley €800 for failing to give a sample to gardaí, and disqualified him from driving for four years. For careless driving she convicted and fined him €500 and disqualified him from driving for one year to be served concurrently, and for failing to remain at the scene she convicted and fined him €500.

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