Judge John Neilan fined a Mullingar-based motorist €2,000 at the local court last week for being drunk in charge and refusing to sign a statement.
Igors Kovalcuks (27 ), 34 College Hill, was fined €1,000 and disqualified from driving for five years, when he was convicted of being drunk in charge at Harbour Place, Mullingar, on August 9. He was fined a further €1,000 and disqualified from driving for five years for refusing to comply with a request from Garda Susan Keane to sign a statement stating the concentration of alcohol in his specimen at Mullingar Garda Station on the same date. The defendant pleaded guilty to the offences.
Garda Keane told the court that a man was observed sitting in a carwhich was parked in the car park at Harbour Place Shopping Centre. The parking lights were on and the engine was running. Garda Keane signalled to the defendant to open the window so his name could be ascertained. The witness got a smell of intoxicating liquor from the defendant.
When Garda Keane asked Kovalcuks to step out of the vehicle, he refused. He turned up the volume on the radio and locked the doors. When he stepped out the vehicle, he was unsteady on his feet. The defendant opted to provide a breath specimen at Mullingar Garda Station but refused to sign the intoxilyser statement. The court heard that Kovalcuks had no previous convictions.