Carrick-on-Shannon District Court

Man was six times the legal limit

Judge describes case as "shocking"

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Man was six times the legal limit

The detection of a man driving six times over the limit was described as “shocking” by Judge Kevin Kilrane at Carrick-on- Shannon District Court.

Appearing on a plea of guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath at Aghadark, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim on November 30, 2017 was Michael Gaffney, Alderford, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon.

The court heard Mr Gaffney's breath reading was 125mcgs, six times his allowed limit.

“That is a very busy road with lorries on it. It's a lucky thing there was a garda checkpoint. You were six times the legal limit.

Other road users are entitled to be protected,” said Judge Kevin Kilrane.

Mr Gaffney, 56, a father of three adult children, apologised for his actions. He said he immediately attended a treatment centre in Donegal after he was detected and continues out-patient and AA treatment.

“This really is frightening stuff; 125 is a shocking reading. Anyone driving like that is a danger on the road,” the judge remarked.

He added that in many of the courts of his colleagues, this would require a prison sentence.

The court heard Mr Gaffney has a previous conviction for drunk driving from Navan District Court in September 2011 when he was disqualified for three years.

Supt Kevin English accepted the reading was very high and it is a very busy road and questioned if Mr Gaffney would have got home safely if he hadn't been stopped by the gardai.

The superintendent opposed an application by the defendant that the disqualification be postponed until after the European elections as Mr Gaffney will be “helping out.”

Supt English said: “I accept he's been very open about it but I have an obligation to protect road users.”

Judge Kilrane adjourned the case until June 28 next for sentencing with liberty to re-enter.

“Any question of you driving drunk between now and that date, imprisonment will follow,” the judge warned.