A man who was on 84 Xanax a week has been jailed for driving under the influence of a drug and of dangerous driving after being spotted weaving from the grass verge across the centre white line on a busy West Cork road.
Wesley O'Mahony of 1 Mount St, Joseph's Drive, in Gurranabraher, Cork pleaded guilty to the charge of drug-driving and to a charge of dangerous driving on June 3, 2019, on the main road between Clonakilty and Bandon. Another dangerous driving charge was withdrawn.
Sgt Trish O'Sullivan told Bandon District Court that at 6.15 pm that day gardaí received a call of a black Toyota Yaris driving dangerously on the road, going from the grass verge across the road and over the white line and back again.
When gardaí stopped the vehicle, Mr O'Mahony, now 36, said his driving licence was in the boot. When he tried to retrieve it he was stumbling and dropped his keys. Gardaí arrested him on suspicion of being in charge of a vehicle while intoxicated. A subsequent blood test at Bandon Garda Station was positive for benzos and cannabidiols.
Judge James McNulty heard Mr O'Mahony, a father-of-one, had 73 previous convictions, including two for dangerous driving, and that he had previously been disqualified for five years from driving.
Judge McNulty was also provided with a doctor's letter, which was two years old, outlining the level of prescription medicine Mr O'Mahony had been taking, including 84 Xanax a week.
"That is quite a prescription," the judge said. "There is just no way in the world this man should be driving."
The court also heard Mr O'Mahony had been in Clonakilty night fishing with others and had not slept for days and had not taken his regular medication.
Judge McNulty said Mr O'Mahony had been putting others at risk through his actions and sentenced him to six months in prison for driving under the influence of an intoxicant and to six months in prison for dangerous driving, and also disqualified him from driving for seven years.
Recognisance for an appeal was set at Mr O'Mahony's own bond of €100 and one surety of €1,500, one-third in cash.