Limerick judge blasts excuse for drink driving

Not impressed: Judge Eugene O'Kelly

Not impressed: Judge Eugene O'Kelly

  • by David Hurley

A JUDGE has described as pathetic the explanation offered by a motorist who was more than twice the legal alcohol limit, when stopped by gardai.

Bernard McGrogan, aged 48, of Quin Gardens, Quin, County Clare pleaded guilty to drink driving and to driving while disqualified on the Ennis Road on June 13, 2013.

Limerick Court was told the defendant was stopped at a routine traffic stop at 8.20pm and that a subsequent analysis of his breath showed a concentration of 48mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Sgt Donal Cronin said the defendant who has total of 22 previous convictions, had been disqualified from driving for four years in September 2012 for a similar offence.

In his evidence, Mr McGrogan, said he emigrated to North America a number of years ago to work and that he sends money home to his family, who still live in County Clare.

He told the court he had returned to Ireland a number of days before being stopped and he said on the evening he had travelled into Limerick to meet a man whom he owed money and that he met him in a pub.

“I was under shocking pressure, I didn’t think about it, I wasn’t thinking straight,” he said.

Mr McGrogan told the court he had not eaten all day and drank one and a half pints before leaving the pub to return home.

“I wasn’t drunk, I was kind of still jetlagged,” he said admitting he had taken a chance. “This will never happen again,” he said.

Solicitor John Herbert told the court his client is married and has a young family and that there was “no reason or rationale” for his actions, which he described as “utterly stupid”.

Imposing sentence, Judge O’Kelly said it was bad enough that Mr McGrogan was driving while disqualified and he added a major aggravating factor was that he was drink driving.

He said it was clear the defendant had “arrived home and just decided he couldn’t care less”.

The judge added that he found Mr McGrogan explanation to be “shallow” and “fairly pathetic”.

The judge imposed prison sentences totalling five months , which he suspended for two years.

He disqualified the defendant from driving for ten years and he fined him €500 for driving without a driving licence.


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