herald

Thursday 23 November 2017

Mum who tried to drink-drive was out 'looking for her son'

Marion Porter
Marion Porter

A woman who was caught trying to start her car after drinking had decided to go out to look for one of her sons, who had been in a row.

A court heard Marion Porter Byrne (62) was "incoherent" when gardai spoke to her on the roadside.

Judge David McHugh banned her from driving for two years when she appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with a drink-driving offence.

He also fined her €100 and put the start of the disqualification back by six months at her solicitor's request.

Porter Byrne, of Westbourne Park, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to attempting to drive a car while under the influence of alcohol. The court heard the incident happened at Collinstown Road, Clondalkin, last March 13.

Gardai were at the scene when they saw the accused's BMW parked with the lights on.

She was attempting to start the vehicle and gardai went to speak with her.

She was "incoherent" and gardai formed the opinion that she had been drinking.

Blameless

She failed the roadside breath test and was taken to the local garda station, where a breath sample she provided had a reading of 62mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

She had no previous convictions.

Porter Byrne's solicitor Edward Flynn said she had reached her early 60s while leading a "blameless life" up to now.

On the night in question, one of her sons had been involved in a domestic row and she decided to go out and look for him, Mr Flynn added.

She made a "terrible decision".

The accused needed her car to make regular hospital visits, Mr Flynn said.

He asked the judge to defer the beginning of the mandatory driving ban for as long as possible. "She has met this case as best she can," he said.

The judge said he would agree to this request and deferred the driving ban for six months. He gave the accused, who is on Jobseeker's Allowance, eight months to pay the fine.

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