Sparks fly as driver falls out car door

A five-month jail term was imposed yesterday on a driver who fell out the door of her car after a drink-driving escapade which saw sparks coming from the front wheel in the early hours of the morning.

Insp Adrian Gamble said the Opel Astra was seen after 2.30am on June 15, 2014, at Curraheen, Cork.

“Sparks were coming from her near side front wheel. She was swerving from side to side, going from one lane to another.

“When she stopped, the driver’s door opened and she fell out the door literally and physically,” he said.

The fully-insured driver, Gillian Cullen, aged 35, was arrested and taken to Gurranabraher Garda Station where she was dealt with for suspected drink driving. When the designated doctor arrived, she refused to give a sample of blood or urine.

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed an overall sentence of five months on Cullen and banned her from driving for six months.

Cullen, with addresses at Elm Park, Sarsfield Rd, Wilton, Cork, and Elton Lawn, Bishopstown, pleaded guilty to that offence of refusing to give a specimen as required in the investigation of suspected drink driving.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said that Cullen was going through a regime of detoxification at Limerick Prison for another sentence imposed on her and although staff were good to her, she was finding her time there very difficult.

Judge Kelleher noted from background reports that she had serious depression issues. To encourage her to get further help from the probation service for 12 months after her release from prison, the judge said he would impose a suspended jail term of five months.

Mr Buttimer accepted that Cullen had quite a significant record of offending but he said this was against an extremely difficult background from when she was very young.

The suspended jail term was imposed on her for an offence on November 16 when she went to the Quay Co-op store in Ballincollig, Co Cork, and stole €129 worth of items and for another theft around this time.


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