A man who was already the subject of two separate driving bans was caught driving his son home from national school while over the drink-driving limit.
Aurelijus Verseckas, aged 40, had been detected by gardaí on September 4 at 2.55pm after they saw he was driving without wearing his seatbelt.
Clonakilty District Court yesterday heard two gardaí were on mobile patrol at Lisavaird, West Cork, and observed a Toyota Avensis on the road.
Noticing the driver was not wearing his seatbelt, they ordered the vehicle to pull in.
On speaking to Verseckas, they formed the opinion he had consumed alcohol.
He failed a breath test and was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
A subsequent test at Bandon Garda Station provided a blood/alcohol level of 72mg/100ml.
Insp Fergal Foley, prosecuting, said: “He had his 11-year-old son as a front seat passenger, collecting him from school.”
Insp Foley told Judge Mary Dorgan the defendant was already banned from driving at the time of the offence.
On November 1, 2016, he had been banned for three years for driving with excess alcohol.
And in May this year, he was disqualified from driving for six years, also for driving when over the limit.
“He was disqualified twice while detected again,” Insp Foley said.
Solicitor for Verseckas, Plunkett Taaffe, said his client admitted the charge.
Mr Taaffe said Verseckas, of Garralacka, Clonakilty, Co Cork, had been at home and had “no intention of going driving” when he received a call telling him the person arranged to collect his son from school 5km away could not do so.
“He had drink taken the night before,” he said.
“He made that decision to collect his child. He puts his hands up.”
Judge Dorgan also heard Verseckas had failed to attend a previous court date, in relation to the case, which Mr Taaffe said was due to a lack of transport.
Verseckas also has a five-year-old child and, due to poor English, had to reach out to people in his own community to help with school transport.
Judge Dorgan said: “There are thousands of people in that situation every day who do not drink.
“It’s worse he went with a child. He was endangering the child as well.”
She said he needed to address his drinking.
And in what she called an “unusual” step, she asked Verseckas to enter the witness box to swear he would not drive while disqualified.
“I promise, 100%,” he said.
The case has been adjourned until December 19 for the production of a pre-sentence probation report with Mr Verseckas facing a possible custodial sentence.
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