16 Aug 2022

€1,250 fine for man convicted of drink driving at Kilkenny petrol station

A driving disqualification and fine have been handed down to a man convicted of drink driving by Kilkenny District Court.

Alexandru Secui, Apt 2 The Elms, Priors Court, Kildare, had contested the charge, which arose from an incident at Applegreen Service Station, Paulstown, on Saturday, May 9, 2020.

Garda Phil Walsh gave evidence she went to the service station following a call to gardaí by a person concerned for two males with a child on the forecourt of the service station.

Garda Walsh arrived at 9.30pm and observed the car. There was a  man in the driver’s seat with the car keys, he was the registered owner. He told her the car had broken down, and when he turned the key in the ignition the garda said it jumped forward but did not start. 

Another man was present, Mr Secui. The garda said both seemed to have alcohol taken. 

The man in the driver’s seat was cautioned and he said he had not been driving. Mr Secui said he was driving. 

Garda Walsh viewed CCTV footage from the service station. She saw the car drive onto the forecourt with Mr Secui driving. 

At the car she said Mr Secui smelled of alcohol and his eyes were glassy. He said he left his licence at home. 

He attempted a breath test four times before a sufficient volume of breath was sampled, and it tested positive for alcohol.

A female arrived with his driving licence. 

Mr Secui was arrested and taken to Kilkenny Garda Station. Before leaving Garda Walsh assisted in pushing the car off the service station forecourt.

At the garda station a doctor was called and Mr Secui gave a urine sample. 

Garda Walsh said Mr Secui had a good level of English and she had complimented him on it. He seemed to understand her directions and she was satisfied he understood.

Aidan O’Higgins BL said he was instructed that his client was not driving. Garda Walsh identified the man she spoke to at the service station in the court. 

Garda Lisa Mullins was the member in charge at Kilkenny Garda Station when Mr Secui was brought in. She said he told her he had two or three beers that day. She had no problem communicating with him, they chatted while he was in the station. She said she gave Mr Secui a leaflet on his rights in Romanian and if he didn’t understand she would have rung an interpreter.

Judge Geraldine Carthy convicted Mr Secui.

The court heard the defendant is in his 30s and worked in the construction industry prior to Covid. He has two children and drives from Kildare to Dublin for work. 

Judge Carthy imposed a fine of €1,250 and disqualified Mr Secui from driving for two years. 

Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.

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