Newcastle West Court heard the businesswoman was ‘lucky’ that nobody was killed or seriously injured
A BUSINESSWOMAN who was almost four times the legal alcohol limit when stopped by gardai is lucky she did not kill or seriously injure anybody, a court in Limerick has heard.
Annette Browne, aged 41, who has an address at Daarwood, Newcastle West, was convicted, at the local court, of both drink-driving and careless driving following an incident in the town at around 10.30pm on September 23, 2017.
Judge Mary Larkin was told when gardai responded to reports of a car being driven erratically, they encountered the defendant near St Mary’s Church, Newcastle West.
Garda Johann Hunt said the car was pursued for around two or three kilometres before before gardai “boxed her in” at Ballymuragh East on the road to Barna.
He said he observed Ms Browne driving “all over the road” resulting in oncoming traffic having to take evasive action at a number of locations.
“I have no doubt she would have been killed or other people would have been killed if we did not stop her,” said Garda Hunt.
After she was stopped, the defendant falsely told gardai she was pregnant and gave them a false date of birth.
While this date of birth was recorded on the custody record and on the printed certificate confirming the concentration of alcohol in Ms Browne’s system, her correct date of birth appeared on the charge sheet.
Seeking to have the charge dismissed, solicitor Michelle Gilbourne submitted the certificate was therefore not valid and should not be admitted at evidence. “It contains an erroneous date of birth,” she said.
Replying, Inspector Alan Cullen said each of the gardai who interacted with the defendant had “acted 100% within the law and professionally” and that the error was because of Ms Browne’s actions.
After formally convicting the defendant – who works as a senior HR business partner – Judge Larkin commented she is a “menace who shouldn’t be on the road at all”.
She noted the defendant has no previous convictions but said her driving was “careless in the extreme”.
Ms Browne, who is currently living in the UK, was fined a total of €1,000 and disqualified for three years.
An appeal has been lodged.