Uninsured driver's judgment 'clouded by heroin'
A motorist caught driving without insurance had taken heroin, which "clouded his judgment," a court has heard.
Kevin Callan (26) got behind the wheel of a borrowed car without insurance after taking the drug.
Judge Dermot Simms fined him €700, but did not impose any driving ban.
He told the accused he was essentially getting away "scot-free", but warned him that that would not happen again if he re-offends.
Father-of-one Callan, of Anne Street, Prosperous, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance or road tax.
There were no drug-related charges against him.
Blanchardstown District Court heard the incident happ-ened at Nangor Road, Clondalkin, last August 24. A garda gave evidence that Callan was stopped while driving.
On checking, it was found that his insurance had expired the month before.
The road tax on the vehicle had also run out, in October 2016, the court was told.
The vehicle was seized by gardai.
The court heard the accused had a total of 13 previous convictions, but none were for uninsured driving.
Unemployed Callan is on jobseeker's allowance, his lawyer said.
On the day of the offences, he had taken heroin and it had "clouded his judgment".
Since the incident, he has taken steps to deal with his drug use and was on a methadone programme, the lawyer said.
The judge said that although this was Callan's first conviction for uninsured driving, that still came with a disqualification in law.
He had been driving a borrowed car, which was more than 20 years old, the court heard. After it was seized and impounded by gardai, it may have been destroyed.
Judge Simms said he was fining Callan €500 on the no insurance charge and €200 for driving without road tax. He gave the accused nine months to pay.
"You might impress upon your client he has got away scot-free, essentially," he told the lawyer. "It won't happen again."
Callan was not required to address the court during the brief hearing.