Letterkenny Courthouse

Drug-driver with ‘sleepy demeanour’ had taken cocaine and cannabis

October 18, 2023

A ’sleepy’ drug-driver has been banned from driving for five years after being pulled in by Gardai in Donegal for speeding.

On January 22, 2022, Gardai were operating a speed check on the N13 dual carriageway at Trimragh. At 3.15pm they clocked a white BMW travelling at 129km/h. The road in question is governed by a speed limit of 100km/h.

The vehicle, being driven by Colm McGuinness, a 24-year-old from Fernabbey Drive, Derry, was stopped at Raymoghey, Manorcunningham at 3.19pm.

When spoken to by Gardai, McGuinness ‘offered no reason for the speed’ and he was not in possession of his driver documents.

Garda Stephen Joseph Carroll said that he observed McGuinness’ speech slurred and his eyes glazed. McGuinness was described as being of a ‘sleepy demeanour’ by the Garda.

A roadside test showed a positive reading for the presence of cocaine and cannabis. 

After being conveyed to Letterkenny Garda Station, McGuinness provided a specimen of blood. Subsequent analysis confirmed the presence of the drugs in McGuinness’s system.

McGuinness was not present in court. Judge Ciaran Liddy said he found the facts proven in his absence.

Given that he was driving at high speed while under the influence of drugs, McGuinness was disqualified from driving for a period of five years. Judge Liddy also fined the accused €500.