Drunk driver making ‘sustained effort to stay sober’

A FATHER-of-three who was observed to be drink driving at a time when he was disqualified from driving has received a three months suspended sentence at a local court.

A FATHER-of-three who was observed to be drink driving at a time when he was disqualified from driving has received a three months suspended sentence at a local court.

Martin Reilly, 24, of The Pastures, Love Lane, Charleville was before Kilmallock Court for road traffic offences committed at Ballynoe, Bruee on June 1 last.

Superintendent Alan Cunningham of Bruff garda station told the court that on the date in question, Garda Natasha Walsh received a call that there was a road traffic collision at Bruree.

The court heard that on arrival at the scene Garda Walsh spoke to the driver, Martin Reilly, and she observed that there was a strong smell of an intoxicating liquor off his breath and his speech was slurred.

The court heard that Reilly was arrested and conveyed to the garda station where he provided a sample of his breath.

The sample had a reading of 53 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

Supt Cunningham said that Reilly failed to produce documents.

Reilly, the court heard, had a number of previous convictions for offences including assault causing harm, failure to comply with the direction of a garda, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

The court heard that Reilly was disqualified from driving at the time of the offences before the court.

Defence solicitor, John Cooke said his client had a drink problem. “When he is sober, he behaves himself, when he is not sober, he doesn’t,” said Mr Cooke.

Mr Cooke said his client had been making a “sustained effort” over the last six months to stay sober and he presented a report to the court from the Anchor Treatment Centre in Mallow.

The court heard that Reilly is married and is preparing to become a father for the fourth time. Mr Cooke asked that instead of the court imposing a custodial sentence that it would either sanction an up to date review from the treatment centre or afford the probation services the opportunity to complete a report.

“He is coming to the age when he should be giving up all these things,” Mr Cooke noted.

Reilly was disqualified from driving for a period of four years and fined €300 for driving while exceeding the alcohol limit. Judge Mary Larkin imposed a three months sentence, suspended for 12 months on condition Reilly keeps the peace and be of good behaviour for 12 months.

Reilly was also ordered to cooperate with the probation services and undergo treatment for alcohol and substance abuse and any other programmes they propose.

Judge Larkin imposed a fine of €500 for driving without insurance.

Failure to produce an NCT certificate, an insurance certificate and a driving licence were all taken into consideration. The charge of driving while disqualified was struck out.