A Castlebar man who pleaded guilty to drink driving was disqualified from driving for the third time at last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court.
Dermot Deegan from 2, Hollow Grove, Castlebar, had previously been disqualified for leaving the scene of an accident and for dangerous driving, in the one instance, and driving while suffering from illness in the other instance. Both convictions were in 2007.
Garda Eamon Carey told the court that he was on mobile patrol on October 29, 2011, in Castlebar when he received a report of a driver driving erratically at Moneen, Castlebar, from a member of the public.
Hugh Ginty had told the Gardaí that he saw a car cross the centre white line of the road at Springfield and Moneen in Castlebar. Garda Carey said he arrested Deegan at his home at 7.40pm and a subsequent blood/alcohol reading showed a concentration of 279 micrograms of alcohol per 100 mililitres of blood – over five times the new legal limit for blood/alcohol levels.
The court heard that Deegan had been disqualified for five years in relation to the 2007 offences but had this reduced to four years on appeal. Deegan was found drink-driving less than a month after his disqualification expired.
Deegan told the court that the charge for driving while suffering from illness related to when, in 2007, he had left hospital after a heart attack and a minor stroke. He had been asked to go back to work by his employer, which he did, despite not being ready to drive.
He said on the date in question he and his wife had gone to town for a few drinks. He left the pub to go to her car and told her he was feeling sick. He said he didn’t remember driving home. Describing the reading as ‘fairly hefty’, Judge Mary Devins also asked Deegan if he was still drinking. He replied ‘an odd one’.
Judge Devins convicted him, fined him €500 and disqualified him from driving for three years. Deegan told the court that he would not be able to pay the fine as both he and his wife are ‘on the sick’. Judge Devins said he had gotten off very lightly, as other charges were taken into consideration, but she extended the time to pay the fine to four months.