Driver with 54 previous convictions who smoked cannabis banned for 40 years

Judge Patricia Harney

A DRIVER who admitted to Gardaí that he had been smoking cannabis has been banned from driving for total of 40 years.

James Clancy (39) of Bishop Street, Limerick City, pleaded guilty before Kilmallock District Court to charges of driving while banned, driving with no insurance, and drug driving.

Judge Patricia Harney heard that Clancy was stopped at a routine Garda checkpoint on March 22 last.

Inspector Gearoid Thompson told the court that Clancy had 54 previous convictions, including convictions for drink driving and driving without insurance as well as other road traffic offences.

The court heard that Clancy was arrested at the checkpoint after a saliva swab taken at the scene indicated the presence of cannabis.

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He admitted to Gardaí who were bringing him to the Garda station for a blood sample to be taken that he had smoked some cannabis the night before.

He pleaded guilty to all of the charges before the court.

Judge Harney sentenced him to three months in jail for driving while disqualified and banned him from driving for a further ten years.

For driving without insurance, she disqualified him for 15 years and sentenced him to 18 months in jail.

On the drug driving charge, she disqualified him for 15 years and fined him €500.

The Judge suspended 18 months of the jail sentence for 18 months, meaning he will serve three months in jail and only serve the 18 months sentence if he is convicted of another offence in that time span.

The disqualifications amounted to 40 years in total, but as they will run concurrently, the convicted driver will be off the road for 15 years, the duration of the longest ban.