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Drink-driver jailed after being caught over limit 4 times

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Eric Hamilton was serving a 10-year driving ban at the time

Eric Hamilton was serving a 10-year driving ban at the time

Eric Hamilton was serving a 10-year driving ban at the time

A man who "blatantly abused" the law after he was caught drink-driving for the fourth time has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Eric Hamilton (46) was also banned from driving for four years after he was caught driving two-and-a-half times over the legal limit. He was a disqualified driver at the time as he received a 10-year ban in 2015 for driving without insurance.

The defendant was spotted driving at speed in a red Ford Focus on the R132 in Balbriggan just before midnight.

Sergeant Cillian Duffy told Balbriggan District Court gardai turned on the patrol car's blue lights and pursued the vehicle, which had failed to stop.

It drove through two roundabouts and veered on to the wrong side of the road but eventually pulled in.

When gardai asked the defendant to produce his licence and insurance, he told officers: "I am a disqualified driver."

Failed

He failed a roadside breath test, giving a breath sample of 58mg/100ml. The legal limit is 22mg/100ml breath.

Hamilton, of Ford De Fyne, Naul, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to drink-driving on January 14.

He also pleaded guilty to driving without a driving licence on the same date. He had 25 previous convictions, including three for drink-driving.

Judge Miriam Walsh said: "There seems to be a trend here."

Defence solicitor Siobhan Mac Niallais said her client, who is not working but used to work as a mechanic, was the victim of a serious assault a number of years ago.

"This has greatly affected him over the years and as a result he has ongoing struggles with alcohol and depression," said Ms Mac Niallais, handing in a psychiatric report to the court.

"It is only in recent times he has been addressing his issues and is awaiting counselling."

Judge Walsh said she could not ignore his previous convictions, adding: "There is a blatant abuse and non-compliance of the road traffic legislation.

"These offences put the rest of us at risk."

She also imposed a concurrent one-month prison sentence for driving without a driving licence.