Driver had ring of white powder around nostril, court told

A ring of white powder was clearly visible around a BMW driver’s left nostril while four different types of drugs were found in his system after he was arrested on suspicion of drug driving.

Sergeant Ronan Mahon told Galway District Court that Chris Goldbey (25), of 78 Fana Búrca, Knocknacarra, was also 41.5 times over the limit for cocaine according to newly-introduced drug driving limits.

He said he apprehended Goldbey, whose BMW drove out in front of his Garda jeep at 12.45am on April 15 last. Sgt Mahon said Goldbey attempted to reverse away from him but when he got stuck in the footpath, he opened the door and handed out a large quantity of drugs.  There were five different types of drug in all – including seven small bags of cocaine – worth €800.

“His eyes were dilated, his speech was slurred and there was a ring of white powder around his left nostril,” Sgt. Mahon said.

He arrested the accused and brought him to the Garda station where a sample of his blood was taken and sent away for analysis.

He was then charged with having drugs for sale or supply, dangerous driving and having no insurance or driving licence.

He was subsequently charged with drug driving after his blood tested positive for heroin, cocaine, cannabis and benzodiazepine.

Goldbey pleaded guilty to having drugs in his possession which were for sale or supply to others.  He also pleaded guilty to drug driving, driving without insurance and not having a driving licence.

Sgt. Mahon confirmed to the court that Goldbey had 54 previous convictions and was disqualified from driving at the time.

Judge Mary Fahy said both Goldbey and members of the public were lucky Sgt Mahon managed to stop him at the time.

The court heard Goldbey was arrested again at 7.35pm that same evening after Garda Michael Dolan observed him driving a black Toyota Celica along Bishop O’Donnell Road in a dangerous manner.

Moments later, Garda Dolan found the car abandoned at a junction.

A taxi driver approached him and said the car had collided with his taxi on the Kingston Road shortly beforehand after doing a dangerous u-turn and had failed to stop.

Goldbey caused €4,000 worth of damage to the taxi and was not insured at the time.

Judge Fahy imposed sentences totalling 20 months and disqualified Goldbey from driving for seven years.