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'It's a worrying trend': Judge concerned that age profile of drink drivers is getting younger

Judge Mary Devins said the average age of drink drivers used to be upwards of 60 years.

Garda David Maguire and posed model Mark Adams being tested for drink driving in order to raise awareness.
Garda David Maguire and posed model Mark Adams being tested for drink driving in order to raise awareness.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A JUDGE HAS expressed concern that the age profile of drunk drivers appears to be getting younger.

Judge Mary Devins told Ballina District Court yesterday that the average age of people convicted of drink driving used to be upwards of 60 years.

However, she said that there was a discernible trend that has seen an increasing number of younger people prosecuted for drink-driving offences in recent years.

Judge Devins made the comments during the case of Ciara Moore, a 37-year-old mother of two, who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol in Crossmolina, Mayo last July.

The court heard that Moore was stopped by gardaí at 2.55am when they noticed that she was driving without headlights. A smell of alcohol was detected and she was observed to be slurring her speech.

Worry

Moore, of Knockroe, Moygownagh, Ballina, was arrested and taken to Ballina Garda Station, where a blood sample showed that she had a blood-alcohol level of 181mg per 100ml – more than three-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Solicitor for the accused, John Gordon, said that his client was pleading guilty but asked that her disqualification from driving be postponed until 11 June to facilitate the completion of a hairdressing course in which she is currently enrolled.

Acceding to this request, Judge Devins imposed a fine of €250 and disqualified Moore from driving for three years with effect from 12 June.

“This has been a huge issue for quite a number of years but the age of drink drivers used to be upwards of 60 years of age, typically, and now it’s younger,” she said.

“Why would you do it when you have two young children?” she asked the defendant.

“I can’t answer that. I know it was wrong,” replied Mzoore.

“Whatever about the drinking, why did you get into your car? I would like to get into your head, and the heads of people your age and younger who are drinking and driving. It is a worrying trend,” said Judge Devins.

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Darragh McDonagh

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