A 22-year-old woman who evaded three Garda checkpoints and who led gardaí on a car chase for almost an hour, while she was accompanied by her boss, was sentenced to jail at Ballina District Court on Tuesday.
The facts of the case, which were heard in February, outlined that Amanda Flynn, Ballymanagh, Ballina, drove through a mandatory alcohol checkpoint, which was on the Killala Road, Ballina on July 3 2010 at 3.10am.
Flynn was pursued by the Garda car, gardaí observed that the defendant drove in an erratic manner at speed throughout several townlands and at a junction failed to stop.
After 30 minutes of a pursuit a checkpoint was set up in Ardagh. The defendant almost came to a stop, however she then swerved in front of a patrol car with which she collided. Flynn failed to remain at the scene and drove off again.
On the main Crossmolina road she swerved from side to side and then turned off from the main road and continued to drive through various townlands.
At 3.58am a checkpoint was set up at Rathbal. In order to avoid this, Flynn tried to reverse her car. However gardaí managed to arrest the defendant. Flynn was brought to the Garda station where a blood sample was taken. There were no alcohol or drugs in her system.
The woman, who has no previous convictions, works for an agricultural contractor.
The court heard that on the night in question, her employer Shane McLoughlin called her to ask her for a lift home. Flynn got into her car, however as it was not insured this was the reason she drove through the checkpoint. Her solicitor said that she panicked and “reason went out the window”. The employer declined to make a witness statement nor to have anything to do with the case.
Flynn was convicted and fined €1,000 for one of the dangerous driving charges and disqualified from driving for five years and sentenced to 28 days in prison. For failing to stop at Ardagh she was convicted and fined €1,000; disqualified from driving for five years to be served concurrently and sentenced to 28 days in prison to be served consecutively. For failing to stop at Farnoo she was convicted and fined €500. For not having insurance Flynn was convicted and fined €400 and disqualified from driving for one year to be served concurrently.