Man went to coursing meeting in North Kerry and drove after having a few pints

A 27-year-old man went for a few pints after attending a coursing meeting and was later detected driving over the legal limit, Listowel District Court has heard.

Keith Silles of Ballinvoler, Lixnaw, has been disqualified from driving for two years for the offence on November 20 last.

Mr Silles’ car was stopped at a Garda checkpoint at Curraghatoosane at 11.46pm on that date. Garda evidence to the Court said that there was a smell of alcohol from Mr Silles when they spoke to him.

He explained to Gardaí that he had attended a coursing meeting in Ballyduff earlier in the day, after which he had a few pints in Listowel.

Mr Silles subsequently failed a roadside breath test and was conveyed to Listowel Garda Station, where he provided two samples of his breath. This test returned a reading of 58 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, more than two and a half times the legal limit.

Mr Silles did not attend the sitting as he is suffering from long COVID, his solicitor, Pádraig O’Connell, explained.

Mr O’Connell pointed out that the test number read out in Garda evidence differed from the number on the Section 13 form, but Judge David Waters said that was not relevant as Gardaí had provided a test printout from the night in question.

Mr O’Connell said his client gave Gardaí his full co-operation and has no previous convictions.

Judge Waters disqualified Mr Silles from driving for two years and fined him €400. Recognisance has been set in the event of an appeal.

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