Woman went on a ‘downward spiral’ after the end of her relationship

A MOTHER of one caught drink-driving had gone on a “downward spiral” after she took the breakdown of her relationship badly, a court heard

Suzanne McEneff had made some “very foolish decisions” after she began drinking heavily to cope.

blanchardstown courthouse

Blanchardstown District Court

She was banned from driving for five years and fined €400 for motoring offences when she appeared in Blanchardstown District Court.

McEneff (33), with an address at Rowlagh Park, Clondlakin, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of an intoxicant, having no insurance and giving gardai a false name and address.

The court heard gardai were operating an alcohol test checkpoint at Milford Manor Estate, Clondalkin at 1.10am on August 12, 2017.

A silver Ford Focus turned before it got to the checkpoint and went into the housing estate. The gardai followed it and stopped the accused, who was driving.

When she stepped out of the car, she was unsteady on her feet and smelled strongly of alcohol, the court heard.

She failed the roadside breath test and was arrested and brought to Ballyfermot Garda Station, where she tested over the alcohol limit.

The court heard gardai also stopped McEneff driving a black Volkswagen at Orchard Road, Clondlakin on December 24, 2017.

On that occasion, there were no discs displayed on the windscreen and she had no licence or identification with her.

She gave a different name and date of birth. When these details were checked they were not on record and the accused was arrested and brought to Clondalkin Garda Station. On arrival, she gave her correct details.

Her licence was subsequently produced.

The accused had no previous convictions.

McEneff had been in a long-term relationship which broke down in 2015 and she went on a “downward spiral,” her barrister Ciaran MacLoughlin said.

She had been working as a cleaning supervisor, lost her job and began drinking heavily to cope with the “perceived loss of her partner.”

Over two years, she made some “very foolish decisions,” Mr MacLoughlin said. She was now working as a carer for the elderly, had passed a course and was awaiting garda vetting.

Judge David McHugh said there was a “ring of consistency” in the mitigation offered and he would take this at its highest point.

He imposed a number of fines and driving disqualifications, to run concurrently.

“My view is this is probably over for your client – she is getting a considerable break today,” the judge told Mr MacLoughlin.

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