A man found guilty of refusing to be tested for drink driving following a car crash, was jailed for four months and given a four-year road ban, by Judge Dermot Dempsey, at the Dublin District Court today.
Jobless father-of-one Gerard Eglington (aged 23) of Markievicz House, in Dublin 2, had denied refusing to give a blood or urine sample, at Kevin Street Garda station, on August 28, 2008.
Garda Stephen Walsh told Judge Dempsey that while he was on patrol at the entrance of St James's Hospital the defendant approached, driving a Toyota Avensis, from the Old Kilmainham direction.
“I heard the engine roaring and saw the car pass the front of the patrol car,” he told the court.
He said there were three passengers in the vehicle which he estimated was driven at 50 to 60mph.
Garda Walsh took up pursuit and saw the car “try to take a turn on to Basin Street, he was driving too fast, skidded over the Luas tracks and collided with a pole.”
He told the judge that the passengers alighted from the car and fled but when he arrived, Eglington was getting out of the driver's door.
Garda Walsh said that Eglington was extremely intoxicated, slurring his words and unsteady on his feet. He said the accused became aggressive and “struggled violently” when told he was being arrested.
Judge Dempsey heard that Eglington was handcuffed and brought to Kevin Street garda station where a doctor was called. He remained aggressive and told Garda Walsh to “f*** off” when asked to provide a blood or urine sample.
Judge Dempsey convicted Eglington and heard that he had 18 prior convictions going back to 2002, for public order, criminal damage and motoring offences. In July 2003, he was given a four year sentence by the Court of Criminal Appeal, for a motor theft related crime.
Counsel defending said that his client had little formal education and was a recovering from a cocaine addiction problem. He said the accused was also working with the Probation Service in relation to another case for which he is awaiting sentence for possessing heroin valued at €4,600.
Counsel said that the accused was out of work and was staying at home to look after his child. He also asked the court to note that Eglington has been providing urine analysis and has been drug free for the past nine months.
Judge Dempsey jailed Eglington for four months, banned him from driving for four years and also imposed a €500 fine.