“Drink driving is becoming a scourge. People are being killed on the roads,” said Judge Kevin P Kilrane prior to convicting Christian Glancy, 39 Naomh Padraig, Drumshanbo of drink driving at Annaduff on October 30, 2017.
The court heard from Gda Seamus Mimnagh who was on patrol along with Gda Leonard at 1.15am on October 13, 2017 at Main St, Mohill. Gda Mimnagh said a number of youths were congregating in the area of Clarke’s car park.
Gda Mimnagh told a recent sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon District Court that he observed a vehicle travelling at high speed approaching the zebra crossing. The driver beeped the car's horn to large cheers from the assembled crowd before dropping a gear and driving off.
Gda Mimnagh said he “Didn’t want to pursue the driver immediately as he thought one of the youths might ring him.”
Gda Mimnagh radioed for assistance and left in pursuit a minute later.
Travelling towards the N4 junction Gda Mimnagh received a call saying the car in question had pulled up behind a second patrol car that had been parked at the N4 junction.
Upon arriving at the scene Gda Mimnagh approached the driver’s door and spoke to the motorist who gave his name as Christian Glancy.
Gda Mimnagh said he got a smell of intoxicating liquor from the defendant and a roadside breath test was subsequently carried out which produced the result ‘fail’.
Mr Glancy was placed in the rear of the patrol car with Gda Mimnagh recalling he heard Gda Leonard shouting at him to lock the doors as the defendant was trying to get out.
The child locks were then activated with the defendant becoming violent, headbutting the window in the vehicle and verbally abusing the Gardaí saying he knew where they lived and referred to them as f***ing b******s” and f***ing c***s”.
The Garda driving the first patrol came back to Gda Mimnagh and Gda Leonard and he helped place handcuffs on Mr Glancy.
Gda Des Flanagan was then called and he arrived at the scene with the Garda van which the defendant was placed into, arriving at Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station at 1.55am.
Mr Glancy continued to be rude and abusive at the station calling Gda Mimnagh a “Cowardly f**k” and making comments about a deceased member of An Garda Siochana.
After a twenty minute period of observation Mr Glancy provided two specimens of breath which revealed an alcohol level of 63mg of alcohol/100ml of breath.
The Court heard the legal limit for a specified driver (driver on learner’s permit) is 9mg/100ml.
Under Cross-examination from Liam O’Connell BL, Gda Mimnagh refuted the suggestion that Mr Glancy became irate only when he saw tools being thrown from his boot onto the road.
“No, that is totally wrong,” replied Gda Mimnagh.
“That didn’t happen. There was nobody at Mr Glancy’s car.”
Mr O’Connell sought a direction from Judge Kilrane as he argued when the car keys were taken from Mr Glancy’s car, the defendant was no longer in control of the vehicle.
“Section nine may only be invoked in relation to someone who is control of a vehicle. Control had been taken from him when the keys were removed by Gda Mimnagh.
“There must be evidence he was in control of vehicle. At the material time he was not.”
In reply Insp Harrington argued, “The location on the summons is Annaduff. He was stopped in an active line of traffic. The evidence of driving was quite clear.”
Judge Kilrane ruled the removal of the car key did not mean the defendant was not in control of the vehicle saying, “Counsel is pre-supposing the removal of the key means he is no longer in charge (of the vehicle). Someone has to be in charge.
“He was in charge up to an including the time of his arrest.”
Judge Kilrane added, “There is more to a vehicle than the key being removed. The handbrake, lights, hazards can all be operated.”
The Court heard the defendant is a 20-year-old farmer who is quite industrious.
Mr O’Connell added, “He feels a great level of embarrassment for what he has brought upon himself and his family.
“He made a foolish decision that he will now have to live with and I ask the Court to be as lenient as possible.”
Issuing a warning to the defendant and his passenger on the night in question Judge Kilrane said, “Both men would want to cop on in relation to this sort of thing.”
Judge Kilrane ruled against the defendant and imposed a conviction for drink driving, a fine of €400 and a two year disqualification from driving.