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Dublin: 3°C Monday 19 April 2021

Cyclist on motorised bike banned for three years for drink cycling

The man was charged with driving a mechanically propelled vehicle while exceeding the alcohol limit.

Naas courthouse (File photo)
Naas courthouse (File photo)
Image: Google Maps

A KILDARE MAN has been banned from the roads for three years for drink-cycling while not having insurance or a licence.

Jimmy Swaine (57), of Greenhills, Melonhill, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, appeared at Naas District Court earlier this week charged with driving a mechanically propelled vehicle (MPV) while exceeding the alcohol limit and driving without a licence or insurance.

Defence solicitor Conal Boyce told the court how Swaine had purchased a pedal-assisted bike on the DoneDeal website under the belief that no tax, insurance or licence was needed.

In court, the accused outlined how he paid between €400 and €600 for the 48cc engine, that can travel at a maximum of 30km per hour. The bike’s engine runs on petrol.

Inspector Patsy Glennon told the court how on 25 June 2015, Swaine was seen by gardaí lying on the road near Kilcullen with his bike beside him.

The court heard how he was admitted to hospital and results revealed that he had a blood alcohol reading of 203 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

At the time, Swaine had been disqualified from driving for 10 years.

He was charged with drink-cycling, as the pedal bike falls into the MPV category.

Inspector Glennon told the court that the bike “has an engine on it.” The court heard how after six to seven kilometres, the engine on the bike can start.

Inspector Glennon outlined how the accused had previous convictions, including a ban from driving for 10 years for not having insurance, five months in prison for not being of good behaviour and also a previous drink driving conviction in 2008.

Defence told the court that the accused does not remember the incident.

Boyce told the court how the man has now purchased an electric bike.

However, Judge Desmond Zaidan told the accused that he will also need insurance for an electric bike.

The court heard how the accused suffers from arthritis of the spine.

Addressing the accused, Judge Zaidan imposed the three years minimum mandatory sentence, happening at the same time as his current 10 year ban.

He has been ordered to pay €400.

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Louise McCarthy

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