“Shocking level of alcohol’ as driver four times over limit

May 16, 2019

A man who drove with a ‘shocking level of alcohol’ in his system has been fined and banned from driving for three years for drink driving.

Danny Grant, 59, from Aghilly, Buncrana, was charged with drink driving at Lisowen Crossroads on January 28, 2019, when he appeared before Buncrana District Court last Thursday.

The court heard that Grant, who pleaded guilty to the offence, had a blood alcohol reading of 234mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which is more than four times over the legal limit. Currently the limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Garda Inspector Seamus McGonigle told the court that Garda O’Brien was on mobile patrol at 12.48am on January 28 when he saw a VW Caddy van pass him at Ferris Lane.

He said the driver, Danny Grant, was slumped over the steering wheel and the van was driving all over the road.

Insp. McGonigle said Garda O’Brien immediately activated the blue lights and sirens but Grant failed to stop and continued to drive on.

“He followed the van and found the van stopped at Lisowen Crossroads,” said Insp. McGonigle.

“Garda O’Brien said when he opened the door of the van he was overwhelmed by the smell of intoxicating liquor in the van and when Mr. Grant got out he was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred, eyes glazed over and there was a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath.”

Insp. McGonigle said Mr. Grant was arrested and a subsequent blood alcohol reading carried out at Buncrana Garda Station revealed an alcohol concentration of 234mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Judge Paul Kelly said that was a shocking level of alcohol. He also raised concerns about the fact that Mr. Grant was drink driving within Buncrana Town.

Defence solicitor Frank Dorrian said the distance involved was ‘a couple of hundred yards from Marian Park to Lisowen Avenue’.

He said Mr. Grant was a single unemployed man and was going through ‘significant stress’ in his life during that time, as a family member was ill.

He said things were ‘getting on top of him’ but said Grant has no previous convictions, adding there was ‘no pattern’ of criminal offences.

“He has never been inside this court before and he apologises to the court, but there is no pattern here,” added Mr. Dorrian.

Judge Kelly said due to Grant’s ‘reduced circumstances’ he would fine him €250 for drink driving, however, he banned him from driving for three years due to the level of alcohol in his reading.