Jail for drunken Ballina man who drove while disqualified

A man with a number of previous convictions—who was detected drink driving, while also being disqualified from driving—was sentenced to five months in jail in Ballina District Court on Tuesday, while the owner of the car, who let the uninsured man drive, was fined and disqualified from driving.

On Sunday May 25 at 2.44am on Cathedral Road, Ballina the car, which Ashley Stephens, 84 Lord Edward Street, Ballina, was driving was stopped by Garda Melanie McGowan. The registered owner of the car, Natalie Conway, 15 Rathmeal Lawns, Ballina, was also in the car. Stephens was arrested under suspicion of drink driving. The results of a blood analysis showed 197mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The defendant was also uninsured and had no driving licence as he was disqualified from driving for five years in 2006.

Conway, who was with Stephens that night and was also intoxicated, asked him to drive as they were both concerned about the whereabouts of a third party that night. Conway did not realise that Stephens was not insured.

Solicitor Peter Flynn, who represented Conway, said that the 22-year-old, who has previous convictions, is unemployed after recently coming out of Hope House. The court was also informed that Conway was recently imposed with a four year disqualification. Judge Mary Devins convicted and fined Conway €300 and disqualified her from driving for one year concurrent.

Peter Loftus, solicitor for Stephens, said that the convicted father of one committed this “foolish act” as he was trying to locate a person who had left a party in an irate state.

Judge Devins convicted and fined Stephens €1,000 for drink driving, disqualified him from driving for five years and sentenced him to three months in prison with the warrant not to issue until January 3. For driving while disqualified the defendant was convicted and fined €500 and disqualified for five years concurrent. Stephens was also convicted and fined €1,000 for having no insurance; disqualified for five years concurrent and sentenced to two months in prison consecutive with the warrant not to issue until January 3. The charge of having no driving licence was taken into consideration.


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