Wednesday 20 March 2019

No-insurance valet caught at the wheel twice by same garda

Lai Muntean claimed he could not afford an insurance policy
Lai Muntean claimed he could not afford an insurance policy

A car valet was caught driving without insurance by the same garda twice in two weeks, a court has heard.

Lai Muntean (25) got behind the wheel even though he did not have enough money to buy an insurance policy.

His solicitor claimed that the defendant had been "very foolish" and "naive".

Judge David McHugh fined Muntean €300 and disqual- ified him from driving for four years.

The defendant, of The Cottage, Belgard Road, Tallaght, admitted two counts of driving without insurance when he appeared before Blanchardstown District Court.

Gda Michael McNulty gave evidence that he stopped Muntean driving a 2006-registered vehicle on Belgard Road, Tallaght, last March 31.

Gda McNulty said he stopped Muntean for a second time on Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot, on April 11.

The officer told the court he had made the demand for Muntean to produce his documents at his local garda station but he had failed to do so.


The court heard that the defendant had never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Kelly Breen said that Muntean, a father of two young children, operated a car valeting business.

Ms Breen said the defendant's behaviour had been "very foolish" and "naive".

She said he was now well aware of the consequences of driving without insurance.

She said that Muntean had not had insurance because he had not been able to afford a policy.

Judge McHugh noted that Muntean had been stopped by gardai twice within 14 days.

Ms Breen reiterated that her client had no excuses for his behaviour, but he had been "extremely foolish".

The court heard that Muntean was originally from Romania but had lived in Ireland for 17 years.

He previously had a difficulty with cannabis, but this was in the past and was no longer an issue, Ms Breen said.

She added that Muntean was still running his car valeting business and asked the judge to be as lenient as possible.

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