“Nobody is shoving reefers in your mouth,” Judge John Neilan told a 20-year-old Mullingar man charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant.
“The decision is consciously made by you,” he told Karl McGee of Irishtown, Mullingar against whom a charge of careless driving was struck out.
He was observed by Gardaí driving erratically on Ashe Road at 12.25am on July 9 last year. There was cannabis in his urine when tested.
The court heard he is from a very stable and supportive family and has been a musician with Mullingar Town band for 10 years. Character references were supplied to show that his behaviour, which he regretted, was “out of character”.
He had gotten in with a bad crowd and since the offence hadn’t been in contact with those friends or smoked cannabis.
He regretted the hurt to his family.
The judge said he was “strongly suspicious” that the youth had become involved with cannabis while at a community college.
Disqualifying him for three years and commenting on the humiliation he had brought on his family, the judge ordered that he attend the Probation Service to give random samples for analysis.
He adjourned the case to December to assess the status of the urines and warned Mr McGee that if he failed to attend “the net result is you could face five months imprisonment and a disqualification of five to 10 years”.