Drug driver off road for eight years

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By COURT REPORTER

A MAN found slumped in a car that was sta­tion­ary in the mid­dle of a ru­ral road with the en­gine run­ning was put off the road for eight years at Lis­towel Dis­trict Court on Thurs­day.

John Fo­ley, Fourhane, Lis­towel, was ar­rested on Novem­ber 22, 2017, af­ter gar­daí came upon him in the ve­hi­cle at Rathea out­side Lis­towel at 3.40am. Sgt Kieran O’Connell told Judge David Waters that when asked for his driv­ing li­cence at the scene his ‘re­sponse was vague to say the least’, even­tu­ally telling gar­daí he didn’t have one.

Gar­daí said there was a ‘strong smell of cannabis’ and that they ef­fected his ar­rest af­ter form­ing the sus­pi­cion he had con­sumed an in­tox­i­cant and was con­se­quently in­ca­pable of driv­ing. A cannabis ‘joint’ with a street value of €15 was dis­cov­ered in the ve­hi­cle.

Mr Fo­ley, who pleaded guilty to the charges of un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of cannabis; driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of an in­tox­i­cant and driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance, had been dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing at the time of the of­fence, it emerged in court.

The court heard he had been put off the road, for driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance, at Lis­towel Dis­trict Court on Oc­to­ber 6 , 2017; and had re­ceived an ear­lier dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from driv­ing for the same of­fence at the same court on Septem­ber 5 of 2012.

Judge Waters re­marked on the ‘crim­i­nal’ na­ture of driv­ing ‘for a third time when you have been told not to drive.’

So­lic­i­tor Michael Lane said his client un­der­stood the ‘enor­mity’ of his ac­tions, but urged the Court not to im­pose a cus­to­dial sen­tence say­ing his client is cur­rently mak­ing good progress in get­ting his life back on track with the help of coun­selling to ad­dress his un­der­ly­ing sub­stance abuse is­sues.

He said his client had suf­fered a lot of dif­fi­cul­ties in his life, in­clud­ing the re­cent death of his fa­ther and that he was a ‘quiet per­son... not a black­guard by any means’.

He was given a two-month sus­pended sen­tence and fined €200 for driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied; dis­qual­i­fied for four years and fined €200 for driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance and dis­qual­i­fied for four years and fined €200 for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of an in­tox­i­cant; and fined a fur­ther €200 for the un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of cannabis con­trary to the pro­vi­sions of sec­tion three of the Mis­use of Drugs Act.

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