Kildare man caught drink driving had blood reading verging on alcohol poisoning

Drink driving case heard in Portlaoise

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Kildare man caught drink driving had blood reading verging on alcohol poisoning

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A 44-year-old man caught drink driving with a reading that verged on alcohol poisoning has been put off the road for 20 years.

Peter Burke (44), Cloghgarret Abbey, Rathbride Road, Kildare, was found to have 287mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, at James Fintan Lalor Avenue, Portlaoise, on February 7, 2016.

He had previous convictions for drink driving.

In the district court back in May, he was sentenced to four months in jail and disqualified from driving for six years

He appealed this prison sentence at the recent Portlaoise Circuit Court, where Judge Keenan Johnson said that the reading verged on alcohol poisoning and was one of the highest readings he'd ever seen.

“For somebody to drive a car with that level of intoxication it’s lucky nobody was killed,” he said.

Taking the witness box, the appellant said that at the time of the offence he had been in a bad place.

In relation to the offence, he said that he’d been drinking with another man and he offered to drive the van home after.

Judge Johnson said it was a serious offence and well deserving of a custodial sentence.

“He’s not a suitable person to have a driving licence,” said the judge.

For no insurance, the judge imposed a five-month sentence, suspended for two years on condition the appellant keep the peace for two years. He increased the driving disqualification to 20 years.

For drink driving, the judge imposed 240 hours’ community service in lieu of four months in prison, and disqualified the appellant from driving for 20 years, concurrent to the other disqualification.

The matter was adjourned to November 29, for a probation report to assess the appellant’s suitability for community service.