A DISTRICT court judge has warned motorists that it is unwise to smoke cannabis and then drive in West Cork because the detections by gardaí are considerably high.
He also said that drugs can stay in peoples’ systems for days or even weeks after they have been consumed.
Judge Colm Roberts made the comment while dealing with the case of Alan Fuller at Clonakilty District Court.
Mr Fuller, with an address at Onslow Gardens, Commons Road, Cork city pleading guilty to driving while under the influence of an intoxicant when stopped by gardaí at a checkpoint on August 31st 2020.
Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that an oral fluid test given by the defendant to Gda Michael Dunne tested positive for cannabis and Mr Fuller was then arrested and taken to Bandon Garda Station where blood specimens taken from him confirmed he was over the limit for cannabis.
The court heard the defendant has no previous convictions. Solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said his client, who is a self-employed plasterer, was seeking a one-month postponement on a one-year driving ban handed down by Judge Roberts.
Judge Roberts allowed the postponement until June 1st and also convicted and fined him €150.
‘Don’t smoke and drive in West Cork as detections are large,’ warned Judge Roberts.
At the same court sitting, Judge Roberts also warned another man who he convicted of driving while under the influence of cannabis that the word needs to get out that cannabis can stay in the system for days, or even weeks afterwards.
Niall Mullane (23) of 9 Marwood Avenue, Glanmire, Cork pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of an intoxicant as well as possessing cannabis with an estimate value of €1.
Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that the defendant was stopped by gardaí on May 29th last at Madame, Ballinscarthy, while driving a white BMW.
Following an oral fluid test which tested positive for cannabis, Mr Mullane was arrested and brought to a nearby garda station where blood specimens given there confirmed cannabis was in his system.
‘A search of his car also found a small amount of cannabis, which was valued at €1.’
Judge Roberts said he never came across such a small value before and said it must have been a ‘speck’ and dismissed the charge.
He directed him to donate €100 to Pieta and banned him from driving for one year and convicted and fined him €150 for the driving offence.
Solicitor Conrad Murphy sought a postponement of the ban until September so his client, who works as a forklift driver, could get his affairs in order.
Judge Roberts granted the postponement and said it is important to ‘get the word out’ that drugs can stay in one’s systems for a long time.
‘In one case it was in a defendant’s system for 20 days,’ said Judge Roberts.