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Saturday 19 October 2019

Rugby manager's two-year road ban after drink-driving

Pilot Gerald Pelosi was banned from driving for two years
Pilot Gerald Pelosi was banned from driving for two years

A pilot and rugby manager who drove friends to a pub after he had been drinking in a clubhouse bar has been banned from driving for two years.

Gerald Pelosi (47) should not have been driving and had shown a "severe lack of judgment", his lawyer said.

Pelosi was part of the management team at St Mary's Rugby Club in Templeogue, the court heard.

Erratically

Judge Patricia McNamara fined Pelosi €950 and banned him from driving for two years.

Pelosi, of Templeogue Wood, Templeogue, was found guilty at Tallaght District Court of drink-driving on the N81 Tallaght on October 14, 2018.

Garda Niall O'Rourke said he saw the defendant's vehicle being driven erratically and he indicated for it to pull over.

He said there were a number of passengers in the car. He spoke to Pelosi and asked him to get out of the car as he could smell alcohol on his breath.

Gda O'Rourke told Pelosi he was arresting him on suspicion of drink-driving, and the defendant was taken to the garda station.

Pelosi was breathalysed and gave a sample of 63mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

The manner of his arrest was disputed by Pelosi. When stopped, he said he spoke mostly to an inspector, who was not in uniform, and he was "surprised by the level of informality" during the process.

Pelosi denied his driving was erratic. He said he stopped the car after he saw a garda car indicating for him to pull over.

He was then told to get into a garda car, and it was only when he got to the garda station that he asked what was happening.

'Unbelievable'

Pelosi claimed he was told "by the way you're under arrest". At no stage did he receive the formal legal caution, he added.

Gda O'Rourke said Pelosi never expressed doubt as to the reason for his arrest.

Finding him guilty, Judge McNamara said it was "unbelievable" the defendant would leave his car and passengers without asking questions.

Defence lawyer David Staunton said Pelosi, a separated father of two, was a self-employed pilot and instructor.

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