A SLOVAKIAN man was almost three times over the drink driving limit when he crashed into a parked car on a busy Newcastle West street, just metres away from hundreds of people who had just left a nearby nightclub, a court has heard.
Peter Stellar, of Templegreen, Newcastle West pleaded guilty before the local court to drunk driving at Church Street in the early hours of April 17, 2011. He was also charged with dangerous driving, but this was reduced to careless driving following a request from his defence solicitor.
Supt Dan Flavin told the court last Friday that at 2.10am on the date in question Mr Stellar was driving a vehicle when he crashed into a car parked on the side of the road at the top of Church Street, close to where “450 people” were out on the street following the closure of a nearby nightclub.
Mr Stellar was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and taken to Newcastle West Garda Station, where he was later found to have a reading of 107 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, almost three times the legal limit at the time.
Solicitor Michael O’Donnell, representing the accused, asked Judge Mary O’Halloran to reduce the dangerous driving charge to one of careless driving, as no one was injured in the crash.
The judge acceded to the request and accepted Mr Stellar’s guilty plea to the less serious offence of careless driving.
Mr O’Donnell said that Mr Stellar has lived in Ireland “for a number of years” and has recently started working with Pallas Foods.
Mr O’Donnell added that his client, who has no previous convictions, is remorseful and “accepts responsibility” for his actions. He said that the material damage that was caused to the parked car on the night has since been repaired and paid for by Mr Stellar’s insurance company.
The judge disqualified Mr Stellar from driving for three years and fined him €350 for drunk driving. He was fined a further €200 for careless driving, and had his licence endorsed.