Pensioner caught driving erratically had bottle of coconut rum in her car

October 28, 2023

A 75-year-old pensioner has been disqualified after being caught drink driving in Donegal.

A bottle of Malibu was on the passenger seat of a car being driven by Joy Park when she was stopped by Gardai.

Park was reported to have been driving erratically in the Ballybofey area on April 19, 2022.

Garda Maeve Loughlin told Letterkenny District Court that she was in the patrol car when they observed a pink Fiat coming ‘in and out of the hard shoulder’ and ‘driving very slowly’ on the Donegal Road, heading towards Barnesmore Gap at 5.56pm.

Gardai signalled for the vehicle to pull in and spoke to the driver. Park, now aged 75 and from Moybeane Road, Enniskillen, informed gardai that she was not in possession of her driving licence.

Garda Loughlin said she detected a strong smell of alcohol from the vehicle and there was a bottle of Malibu on the front passenger seat. Garda Loughlin also detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor from Park’s breath and noticed that one of her eyes was closed.

Park was arrested and a sample of blood was taken by a designated nurse. The sample was posted to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety and a certificate returned confirming the presence of  91 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Mr Frank Dorrian, representing Park, said his client has no previous convictions and cooperated fully with the gardai on the evening in question.

For drink-driving, Judge Ciaran Liddy disqualified Park for one year and fined her €100, allowing six months to pay. For driving without insurance, Park was fined €100 and also given six months to pay.