Saturday 19 January 2019

Driver on drug spree drove at speed at gardai

This is the learner driver who has avoided jail after smoking cannabis before driving at speed against oncoming traffic.

On April 4 last, during one of a number of dangerous driving drug sprees, Robert Byrnes (22) smashed into another car and forced other drivers off the road as he drove high on drugs.

On another occasion - October 24 last - after consuming cannabis, Byrnes drove at speed on the wrong side of the road against an oncoming garda patrol car.

In yet another incident of crazed driving, on June 1, 2013 Byrnes admitted driving while on drugs as he was observed by gardai breaking a speed limit of 50kph and swerving erratically on a road near his home.

When officers stopped him on the night, they noticed "his pupils were bloodshot, his reactions were slow, and he was swaying from side to side", Inspector Helen Costello told Limerick District Court.

Byrnes, of Hilltop, St Patrick's Road, Limerick, pleaded guilty to a plethora of charges under the road traffic act. He was also caught by gardai driving without insurance and without an NCT Cert, at Greenhills Road, Garryowen on August 31, 2013.


His solicitor, Sarah Ryan told the court: "This is a young man who likes his car and who likes to drive."

On September 14, 2013, Gardai searched Byrnes' car under the misuse of drugs act, and discovered a fuel siphoning pump wrapped in a bag "concealed" under a spare tyre in the boot of the car.

Byrnes, who pleaded guilty to having the pump to be used in connection with a theft, was given a 10-month suspended sentence.

The defendant had six previous convictions for road traffic offences, including driving without insurance and failing to display 'L' plates.

Byrnes pleaded guilty to multiple counts under the Road Traffic Act, including dangerous driving, drug driving, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, driving without an NCT, driving unaccompanied, failing to produce insurance, failing to produce a driving licence and failing to produce an NCT Cert.

Judge Eugene O'Kelly imposed an eight-year driving ban for the incident on April 4. He imposed separate concurrent road bans totalling 22 years.


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