A woman who tried to evade gardai during a chase in north Louth during which other motorists were forced to take evasive action, was convicted of drink driving at Dundalk district court last week.
However Samantha Richardson (39) of Whitestown, Greenore had a further charge of dangerous driving at Feede Cross, Mountpleasant on March 26th last year, struck out.
The investigating garda told the court last Wednesday that he had been on patrol in the Bellurgan area when he received report over the radio of a possible drink driver.
He said he pulled into the roadside and waited for the vehicle - a red Volkswagen Transporter to pass. The garda said as he followed the van it was being driven erratically and was swerving over the continuous white line.
The garda signalled for the driver to stop at Ballymascanlon and while the accused pulled in, the garda said after he got out to approach the van, she drove off at speed.
The defendant then drove onto the Ballymac roundabout - failing to yield for oncoming traffic and forcing other drivers to take evasive action.
The court heard that road conditions were wet at the time and Samantha Richardson drove towards Dundalk, went around the Red Cow Roundabout and then drove back towards the Ballymac roundabout and onto the old Newry Road. Gardai continued to follow at a safe distance before the accused pulled in at Feede and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
The Defence barrister successfully argued that there was no evidence of dangerous driving at Feede Cross, the location identified on the summons, but Judge John Coughlan rejected legal argument in respect of a drink driving prosecution, relating to the production of a certificate signed by the doctor who took the blood specimen.
The court heard the mother of three, who is studying for a Masters in Adolescent Counselling had a previous conviction for drink driving in 2010¸for which she received a two year disqualification.
Judge Coughlan imposed a €300 fine and a three year driving ban.