A farmer driving under the influence of alcohol was jailed for causing the pensioner’s death


A farmer who exceeded the legal limit more than four times after a night of heavy drinking when he caused the death of an 80-year-old man in a two-vehicle crash has been jailed for three years and nine months.

Dan Coakley, of Dereli, Inc., Co Cork, had a reading of 99 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath when the accident occurred. The legal limit is 22 micrograms per 100 milliliters of breath.

Coakley had previously appeared in Cork District Criminal Court, where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving that caused the death of retired David Service, who was a passenger in the car driven by his son Gary.

Coakley also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and having a faulty vehicle on purpose or recklessly at the time of the collision.

Defense attorney Donal O’Sullivan told the court that his client was “100 percent wrong but also deeply remorseful,” adding that Coakley was “someone with an alcohol problem.”

Garda Darrag Moore told Judge Helen Boyle that Quakley (44) was the driver of a black Audi that crossed the central white line in Carigley, Inchiguilla, at 11:30 a.m. on November 8, 2020, causing the death of David Servis.

Gary Serves was driving his father, who was sitting in the front passenger car, back to Cork from Juganipara when the collision occurred, and the two men were then taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment.

Vehicle inspection

Garda Moore said Gardy detected a smell of alcohol from Coakley at the scene and took a breath sample. Coakley was later arrested and taken to Macroom Garda station where he underwent an evidence test. Garda added that the accused cooperated fully with Gardi on the day of the accident.

After the collision, both cars were sent for a PSV check, which led to Coakley also being charged with driving a defective vehicle.

Examiners found that the black Audi had excessively worn the close front track bar end and an upper ball joint hanging excessively close to the front.

Garda Moore said the injuries to David Servis, a pelvic fracture, did not appear to be life-threatening and he was expected to make a full recovery. However, the 80-year-old had a number of underlying health conditions and died of his injuries 18 days later while in hospital.

The victim impact statement was submitted to the court, which heard that the service family was still traumatized by the accident that led to the death of their beloved father and grandfather.

The court also heard that Gary Serves sustained injuries to his neck and back and should in the collision.

Judge Helen Boyle, who sentenced Coakley on Friday, said the crime had serious consequences for Mr Serves and his family, adding that she was aware of the heavy loss the family had suffered.

Judge Boyle said the main cause of the collision was the fact that Coakley was driving while intoxicated, which caused him to crash into Mr Service’s car, which was on the correct side of the road.

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The judge acknowledged that a probation report indicated that Coakley had previously undergone treatment for alcohol abuse at Talbot Grove, Co Kerry. Although Coakley returned to drinking after his treatment, the court heard that he again made an effort to address the problem.

“I accept that you deeply regret and assume full responsibility for drunk driving, as you did that day, which resulted in Mr. Service’s death,” Judge Boyle said.

“The guilty plea in particular is valuable because you not only saved the state the time and expense of the trial, but you saved the witnesses the trauma of having to testify at the trial, and that’s up to you,” she said.

Judge Boyle imprisoned Coakley for three years and nine months and banned him from driving for 10 years.

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