A TAXI driver involved in a hit-and-run with another car carrying a family at Cappamore last December was intoxicated at the time of the accident, Limerick District Court has heard.
The collision occurred just eight weeks after 66-year-old Edward Dee had been disqualified from driving for three years for another drink driving offence, although a stay had been put on that disqualification.
Insp Seamus Nolan said that John Griffin had been driving, with his wife and daughter in the car, from Cappamore towards Limerick at around 1.15am on December 27.
Mr Griffin saw a car coming against him and pulled in at a bridge at Drumsally to led the oncoming vehicle pass. It had clipped Mr Griffin’s wing mirror and failed to stop. Insp Nolan said “a bit of a chase” ensued where Mr Griffin had turned and followed the taxi, flashing his lights. He came upon the taxi, overturned on its roof, a short distance down the road.
Mr Dee, of Cappanuke, Cappamore, pleaded guilty to failing to stop or remain at the scene of an accident and to drink driving. He had been removed to hospital and a sample of blood read 218 micrograms of alcohol per 100 mililitres of breath.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly expressed serious concern that Dee had been driving while intoxicated eight weeks after being convicted for the same offence. It was accepted that the three-year disqualification had been suspended until March 2012.
“There are facilities available to the state for prisoners of a certain age. Had he been driving while disqualified, he would have been going to prison,” said Judge O’Kelly.
Solicitor Chris Lynch pleaded that Mr Dee had health problems and was also the primary carer for an unwell wife 10 years his senior.
For hit and run, Mr Dee was disqualified from driving for two years. A further six-year ban was imposed for drink driving, for which he was also fined €250.