29 Sept 2022

Longford woman was drunk driving while already doubly disqualified

Carrick-on Shannon man facing jail term if he re-offends

Carrick-on-Shannon District Court

A woman already doubly disqualified from driving crashed her car in a single vehicle accident while she was drunk and uninsured.

Sinead Horgan, 28 Millrace Park, Drumlish, Co Longford pleaded guilty to the offences which took place on May 6, 2020 at Aughahunshin, Rooskey, Co Leitrim.

Gardai attended the scene of a single vehicle accident at 3.45pm on that date. The single female occupant of the car had her foot trapped in the car. Gardai got a strong smell of alcohol from her.

She was taken by ambulance to Mullingar General Hospital where a sample of blood was later taken, showing a reading of 214mg alcohol/100mls blood.

She undertook to produce her documents in Longford Garda Station but failed to do so.

The court heard the 40-year-old single mother of two had a previous conviction from Longford District Court from February 2020 where she was disqualified from driving for four years for drunk driving, which came into effect on March 11, 2020. She was also convicted on that occasion for no insurance and disqualified for six years.

She has other convictions from Longford District Court in October 2012 where she received a suspended sentence for no insurance and dangerous driving.

Solicitor, John McNulty, said Ms Horgan met up with some friends for drinks on the day. He said she has a problem with binge drinking and makes very unwise decisions. He said she received two fractures to her leg in the accident.

Sinead Horgan said it was a really stupid decision on her part and she was lucky it was only herself she hurt.

Judge Kevin Kilrane said he wanted a Probation Report on the defendant.

He said she was at real risk of going to prison. She was doubly disqualified, had no insurance, no driving licence and was highly intoxicated, he noted.

“It is clear you have a problem with alcohol. Are you an alcoholic?” the judge asked.
She replied yes, but that she was a functioning alcoholic.

He asked her if she had any desire to give it up and she replied yes, that this was a “big wake up call” for her and she promised her kids she wouldn’t drink. She said she has not taken any alcohol since the crash.

Judge Kilrane convicted and sentenced her to five months in prison, suspended, and disqualified her from driving for eight years for having no insurance. He said he didn’t trust her regarding alcohol.

He also convicted and sentenced her to five months, suspended, for drunk driving, concurrent.

Charges of careless driving, no driving licence, failure to produce insurance and failure to produce a driving licence were all struck out.

Judge Kilrane said the conditions of the suspension were that she not sit behind the wheel of a car for the next five and a half years.

He said she has no real intention of engaging with alcohol treatment.

“Drink is part of your life. You are temporarily off it but you will go back on it,” he told her.

He said she must not commit any alcohol related offence, including intoxication in public, for the next two years, on her own bond of €100.

“I can’t stop you drinking at home but if you continue drinking at home to that extent you will kill yourself,” the judge warned.

A certificate of free legal aid was granted.

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