COURTS

Motorist fell asleep at the wheel with baby in car

Mother broke telegraph pole in half in car crash

Staff Reporter

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 Mother broke telegraph pole in half in car crash

A Donegal woman, who crashed her car into a telegraph pole, breaking it in half, while her six months old baby and her nine-year-old cousin were her passengers, has been fined €200 and banned from driving for three years.
Glenties District Court was told that 38-year-old Jennifer Vial, Loughfad, Portnoo had a blood alcohol reading of 201 mcgs and that she was asleep at the wheel when the one vehicle accident happened on July 18th.
She pleaded guilty to a charge of drunk driving at Sandfield, Ardara.
The defendant, who is a specified driver, was ten times over the legal limit.
Inspector Denis Joyce told the court that the defendant, who has a previous conviction for drunk driving, was later taken to Letterkenny University Hospital where the sample was taken on July 18.
Defence solicitor Cormac Hartnett said his client had been at a picnic on the beach and had shared in a family bottle of wine.
She had then gone to the family home, where she drank more alcohol
The solicitor said the incident had a profound effect on the defendant, and a potential tragedy had arisen out of her driving when she had fallen asleep.
The defendant had gone to counselling, addiction counselling and had completed 30 days in White Oaks and was now in an after-care programme.
She had put her own baby into the care of her brother to allow her to fully engage with the medical services.
A letter from White Oaks was in court.
The court was told the defendant had “broken her back” some time before this accident, was on a lot of medication and was also suffering from post natal depression.
This accident could have been much worse and she must take responsibility for her actions.
The defendant had been very co-operative with the gardaí and was trying to make things better as best she could.
It was going to take time from an emotional and social point of view to regain the trust of her associated family. But she had genuine and utter remorse.
Judge Paul Kelly said it was a very sad situation that could have been so much worse.
The fact that it did not happen was no thanks to the defendant.
The judge fined the defendant €200 and banned her from driving for three years.