Drunk driver jailed for three years

A civil engineer who crashed and killed a man while drunkenly driving in the wrong direction down a dual carriageway has been jailed for three years by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Drunk driver jailed for three years

The three-judge court yesterday imposed the three-year custodial term, along with a 15-year driving ban, on Ronan Cunningham, aged 30, of Enniskeen, Kingscourt, Co Cavan, who admitted dangerous driving causing the death of Emanuel Mendez on October 10, 2010, at Rathcoole, on the N7 Naas dual carriageway. He also pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol on the same date.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman described Cunningham’s driving on the night as being “not just dangerous” but “hideous”. The sentence replaces the five-year suspended sentence Cunningham had previously received, which the appeals court last year overturned for being too lenient.

On the night in question, Cunningham drank eight pints, got behind the wheel, and drove down the wrong side of the N7 Naas dual carriageway for 7km before colliding with another car.

Paul Greene, defending, said his client had pleaded guilty at an early stage and no longer drank or drove.

Mr Cunningham was given a week to get his affairs in order before his sentence comes into effect.

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