A 59 year-old Hollyford man caught drink driving and driving without insurance on two occasions within the space of three months, received an eight month suspended prison sentence and six year driving ban at Tipperary District Court last week.
These penalties were imposed on Thomas Ryan from Curraheen Lower, Hollyford, who pleaded guilty to committing both driving offences at Dundrum village on July 25 last year and at Clashnacrony, Cappawhite on October 30 last year.
Gda. Sgt. Cathal Godfrey told the court Gda. David Nolan saw a car being driven in a slow and erratic manner at 10.05pm on July 25 last year. He signalled the car to pull in and when he spoke to Ryan he was highly intoxicated and he was unsteady on his feet when he got out of the car.
Ryan was arrested and brought to Tipperary Garda Station where he provided a urine sample that showed there was a concentration of 242mgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath in his system. Ryan informed gardai he was disqualified from driving when he was requested to produce his driving licence and insurance cert.
Gda. Godfrey continued that Gda. Dorgan stopped a landrover driven by Ryan in an erratic manner on the afternoon of October 30. Ryan was again highly intoxicated and his speech was slurred.
Breath samples he gave at Tipperary Garda Station showed a reading of 114mgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath. Ryan again informed the gardai he drove while disqualified.
Defence solicitor Michael Devlin told the court his client's marriage of 22 years unfortunately broke down and ended in divorce, which impacted on him badly and led him to consume too much alcohol.
The solicitor said his client lived in a very rural part of the county. He appealed to the court not to interfere with Ryan's liberty and pointed out that the defendant co-operated with the gardai.
Judge MacGrath said Ryan put the public at risk by driving on these two occasions and asked why she shouldn't impose a custodial sentence?
Mr Devlin argued his client was entitled to a chance because of his previous good record. He was 59 years old and never appeared before the court until the recent breakdown of his marriage.
"He accepts he has to change his ways and accepts he is walking a fine slippery slope. He asks you to give him the benefit of the doubt on this occasion," pleaded the solicitor, who suggested a suspended sentence be imposed.
For the drink driving offences Judge MacGrath imposed two consecutive four months prison sentences on Ryan and suspended them for two years and imposed a six year driving ban. She imposed concurrent three months suspended sentences and a four year driving ban for the driving without insurance offences.
The Judge told Ryan he clearly had an alcohol addiction problem, which he needed to deal with and nobody else was to blame but himself.