An alcohol reading submitted to Judge Mary Devins at Castlebar District Court last week was the highest she had ever seen in a drink driving case.
Judge Devins heard that on August 7, 2012, after receiving a phone call reporting a car swaying back and over the road, gardaí intercepted a car at 1.30pm travelling between Castlebar and Ballyvary. The driver, Stephanie O’Connor (47) of 4 Cairns Rd, Sligo, was subsequently arrested.
The court heard that Ms O’Connor, who pleaded guilty to the drinking-driving charge, had a blood alcohol reading of 360mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Commenting on the fact that Ms O’Connor was seven times over the limit, Judge Devins said it was the highest she had ever seen.
Solicitor for Ms O’Connor, Mr John Carlos said his client, who has no previous convictions, had an addiction problem and that this incident had brought the problem to light.
Mr Carlos said his client had ‘reached absolute bottom’ and that she had entered a month-long alcohol-treatment programme after the incident, and has been attending weekly addiction meetings since.
Judge Devins convicted Ms O’Connor, handing down a €600 fine and disqualifying her from driving for three years.
Judge Devins said she was not giving O’Connor the maximum disqualification because of her guilty plea and because she was taking steps to overcome her alcohol problem.