Man jailed for drink driving was five times over the legal limit

galway daily courts Man jailed for drink driving was five times over the limit

A man sentenced to six months in prison for two incidents of drink driving was more than five times over the legal limit on one occasion.

Michael Silke (59), of the Weir Road in Tuam, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to two counts of drink driving and one of dangerous driving.

The first incident occurred on September 29 of 2018 where gardaí were on patrol mobile patrol, stopped at the Monivea Road junction.

They observed a black Mazda drive through a red light and turn onto the Monivea road, where he got caught on the kerb and mounted it.

One officer left the patrol car and approached the Mazda, while Mr Silke kept revving the vehicle and trying to get over the kerb.

The Garda reached in the open window and removed the keys from the car, getting a strong smell of alcohol from the inside of the car as he did.

When a breath test was administered it returned a result of 122 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath, more than five time the legal limit.

The legal limit for fully qualified drivers is 22mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, and 9mg per 100ml for learner, professional, and novice drivers.

During a second incident on March 10 of last year, Gardaí were dispatched to a collision on the Sean Mulvoy road.

Gardaí spoke with Silke, the driver of one of the vehicles, at the scene of the collision, and formed the opinion that he was drunk.

When a breath test was administered on this occasion it came back as 99mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, still more than four times over the legal limit.

There was also a six year old child in the other car which Mr Silke hit, Gardaí told the court.

No other parties were injured in this collision the District Court heard. The court was also told that Mr Silke had a previous drink driving conviction from Tuam in 2014.

Judge Mary Fahy said that the level of alcohol in these incidents was “rather shocking”, adding that “whatever way you look at it it’s serious.

She described the reading given by Mr Silke as a “lethal” level of alcohol, adding that he could not possibly be in control of a car when that drunk.

Defence barrister Gary MacDonald said that his client has had a problem with alcohol in the past few years.

But he added that he has been seeking treatment. This case was originally adjourned so he could complete a residential alcohol addiction programme, and he has been attending meetings since that.

Judge Fahy remarked that he had chosen to drive to Galway from Tuam while in this condition, saying “Once would be bad enough, but twice, with those readings”.

She remarked that he was lucky not to be up on more serious charges considering there was a child in the car he hit.

For the drink driving offence on September 29, 2018 the Judge gave Michael Silke a three month prison sentence and disqualified him from driving for three years.

For the March drink driving charge she imposed another three months in prison consecutive, and a six year disqualification.

A three month concurrent sentence was handed down for the dangerous drive charge, which arose from the March incident with the collision.

Mr MacDonald asked if the court would consider suspending any of the sentence, but Judge Fahy said that he had that chance in 2014.