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28 Sept 2022

Driving ban for learner who was nine times over legal limit

A learner driver spotted driving 'erratically' was nine times over the limit and was given a driving ban when she appeared at Letterkenny District Court

Letterkenny court house.

Letterkenny court house.

A learner driver who was found driving while nine times over the legal limit has been put off the road for three years.

At 1.59am on February 18, 2022, Gardaí observed a silver vehicle driving ‘erratically’ and with no lights on at Lower Main Street, Letterkenny.

Letterkenny District Court heard that Gardaí indicated for the vehicle to stop. The vehicle was being driven by Leah Gibbons, a 29-year-old of Woodlands, Letterkenny.

Sergeant Gerard Dalton told the court that Gibbons was not wearing a seat belt and her speech was slurred. Gibbons 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. The legal limit for learner drivers is 9 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

Sergeant 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.

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