Man found three times over legal limit while serving 20-year driving ban

January 16, 2021

A LETTERKENNY man already serving a lengthy driving ban was found driving while more than three times over the legal limit.

Chris Kildea (65) of Thorndale, Letterkenny was before Letterkenny District Court on charges arising out of an incident on March 9, 2020.

Kildea was charged with two counts of dangerous driving, drink driving, driving with no insurance and driving with no licence.

Sergeant Gerard Dalton said that Gardaí received a report of a Peugeot 206 driving erratically towards Letterkenny on the dual carriageway.

Gardai met the car close to the Pole Star roundabout and observed it ‘weaving between lanes on the approach’.

The car failed to stop before continuing at speed on the wrong side of the road at Ballyraine, Sergant Dalton said.

At Ballyboe, the car turned right and took the wrong side on a traffic island, almost rear-ending another vehicle before turning right.

The car again drove at speed through the Thorndale estate before coming to a stop outside a house.

Kildea was apprehended by Gardaí and struggled upon arrest and was later

Kildea was found to have 158mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

The court heard that Kildea – a separated 65-year-old with three grown-up children – had previously received hefty driving bans of 40, 30, 20 and four years for motoring offences since 2007. He had also been given four and five-month prison sentences.

Defence solicitor Mr Kieran Dillon said that the bans were all reduced to 20 years on appeal and the prison sentences were suspended.

“On the day in question, he made bad decisions and bad choices right throughout the day,” Mr Dillon.

“He had bought the car to do it up. A person couldn’t come to look at it so my client foolishly made an error in deciding to take the car to him. He then decided to take it back.

“He panicked and the decision not to immediately stop created other difficulties.”

Mr Dillon said that the death of his client’s brother had been a ‘trigger’. Kildea, he said, was receiving ‘various supports’ which were ‘important for the way forward’.

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case to April 12 to allow for the preparation of a probation and community service report.