Learner caught driving erratically with no lights was nine times over limit

September 14, 2022

A learner driver has been handed a three-year ban after being caught nine times over the drink driving limit in Letterkenny town centre.

Leah Gibbons, aged 29, of Woodlands, Letterkenny appeared before Letterkenny District Court this week.

The court heard that on February 18, 2022, at 1.59am, Gardaí observed a silver vehicle being driven erratically and with no lights on at Lower Main Street, Letterkenny.

Gardaí indicated for the vehicle to stop. Officers observed that Gibbons was not wearing a seatbelt and her speech was slurred. She held a learner permit and was unaccompanied at the time.

Gibbons was arrested and conveyed to Letterkenny Garda Station, where she was found to have 83 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – nine times over the legal limit.

Sergeant Gerard Dalton said that Gibbons, who has no previous convictions, later contacted Gardaí to apologise for her behaviour.

Solicitor for Gibbons, Mr Frank Dorrian, said his client, a mother of two, had gone through a period of alcohol dependency.

“She took steps to protect her position and this was a relapse,” Mr Dorrian said. “To a large extent, it is penalising addiction here.”

The court heard that Gibbons acts as a carer for her mother.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham disqualified Gibbons from driving for a period of three years, the commencement of which has been postponed until January 2, 2023. Gibbons was also fined €200.