A man who was two and a half times the legal limit to drive had his disqualification deferred to the new year after a judge grudgingly accepted his solicitor’s argument that his client’s job depended on it.
“Mr Kiernan, down on your hands and knees and crawl,” said Judge Patrick Clyne to Mr Louis Kiernan, defending, in the Mullingar District Court this week (October 8 ), after he sought a postponement of the start of the driving ban for Kevin Gilroy (23 ), of Reynella, Bracklin, Mullingar.
The court had earlier heard how Gilroy, who had already pleaded guilty to the charge, had returned a reading of 260 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine on the night he was stopped. The limit is 107/100.
“Have you seen the reading? How did he find his car? He was out of his mind!” said the judge to the solicitor.
Mr Kiernan explained how his client worked in Dublin and brought a colleague each day, and that he needed to be able to continue driving until “he [the colleague] gets his licence”. He sought a deferral until March.
“I thought that was coming,” said the judge, suggesting he was looking at a €250 fine and a three-year disqualification.
Gilroy took the stand and told the court under oath he would lose his job if he was put off the road.
Mr Kiernan asked his client if he had learned his lesson, but Judge Clyne interrupted him on this line of questioning saying: “That’s for two years down the road”. He was referring to what is normally a stock question in an application for the restoration of a licence, which can only be made after at least two thirds of a disqualification is spent.
The judge then asked Gilroy what a contract of insurance was based on.
“Full disclosure?” said Gilroy.
“Exactly. So even if they shove your premium by three million per cent you have to inform them [of this conviction]. If the Guards find you out in The Downs and your insurance is not in order, where will you find yourself?” asked the judge.
“Back here?” said the defendant.
“Oh no. Jail,” said Judge Clyne, before fining Gilroy €250 and allowing the three-year ban be deferred until March.