20-year driving ban and prison for Cork woman caught driving under influence of multiple drugs

20-year driving ban and prison for Cork woman caught driving under influence of multiple drugs

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a 20-year driving ban on the driver and also sentenced her to five months in prison.

Gardaí stopped in traffic at a red light in Ballincollig saw a motorist overtake a line of cars – including their patrol car – before driving through the light.

It was later established that the motorist was under a cocktail of drugs at the time.

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a 20-year driving ban on the driver and also sentenced her to five months in prison.

Sarah Cooper of 23 Orrery Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, pleaded guilty to charges that included driving under the influence of drugs and having no insurance.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said, “After 3 p.m. on October 29 2018 Gardaí Chris Daly and Brian Henderson were on patrol when they observed a green Renault Megane overtake a line of traffic which had been static at the time.

“This was a highly dangerous manoeuvre given the time of day, the amount of traffic and pedestrians in the immediate area and the potential for such catastrophic occurrences.” 

The sergeant said Cooper overtook a total of five cars including the garda vehicle, ignoring a continuous white line and the red traffic light.

The incident happened near the Circle K garage in Ballincollig by the Old Fort Road junction.

Sarah Cooper was stopped by gardaí who activated blue lights and siren, arrested her and took her to Gurranabraher station.

She tested zero for alcohol but positive for Benzodiazepine, methadone, opiates and cocaine, Sgt. Davis said at Cork District Court.

At the time of the incident she was a disqualified driver with a total of 196 previous convictions. 

25 of those convictions were for driving without insurance.

Judge Kelleher was told that the accused had a tragic background and was holding up her hands to these offences.

The total sentence amounted to five months in prison and a 20-year driving disqualification.

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