Donegal man caught drink-driving on his wedding day

November 13, 2018

A Donegal man who was detected drink driving on his wedding day has been disqualified from driving for two years.

Inishowen man Michael Burke (32) with a current address given at 6 May Street, Scarborough, Western Australia, was charged with drink driving after being detected committing the offence in Buncrana, on May 30, 2015.

He was also charged with driving a motor vehicle without valid insurance and dangerous driving.

Inspector Goretti Sheridan told the court that the defendant was detected driving a white Nissan GTR at Ballymacarry Lower at 11pm on the night in question.

The court heard gardaí observed the vehicle exiting the roundabout and spinning its wheels and taking off at speed towards Buncrana before they activated the blue lights signalling the driver to stop.

Inspector Sheridan told the judge that when gardaí spoke to the driver, Burke said he was ‘test driving’ the vehicle.

Asked if he had consumed any alcohol, Judge Kelly heard that Burke replied: “It’s my wedding day, what do you think?”

A subsequent breath test showed that Burke had 58 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, nearly three times the legal limit of 22 microgrammes, in his system on the night in question.

Mr O’Gorman told the court that a friend of the defendant had returned from London and was showing his client the car.

Representing the defendant, who was not present, Solicitor, Mr Kieran O’Gorman told the court that his client was not going to await the outcome of the ‘Gerard Maher case’ currently awaiting ruling in the High Court.

The case argues that the option of having the printout from the intoxiliser machine in English or Irish should be given to the accused by the garda prior to taking the sample from the machine.

Mr O’Gorman told Judge Paul Kelly at the recent sitting of Buncrana District Court that his client would have been back on the road at this stage.

For the drink driving offence, Judge Kelly fined Burke €250 and disqualified him from driving for two years.

Considering it was his wedding day, the judge left the fine for having no insurance at €150 and struck out the dangerous driving charge.


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