The judge called it a gamble that did not pay off, in the case of the poker ace banned from driving for four years after he was caught driving under the influence of drugs on the 28th of September 2011. Thirty three year old Paul Carr is known to be a poker player of some regard in Limerick, but he was high on cocaine when he was caught speeding by a Garda patrol car and subjected to standard drugs tests.
It looks like Carr will have to stick to online casino games from now on, unless he can get someone to give him a lift to the casino – Judge Eugene O’Kelly was not sympathetic, particularly given the circumstances of the offence and the man who made it. Garda Paul Bentley spoke to Carr when he caught him speeding along several roads, and reported that his eyes were glassy and he was unsteady on his feet. A urine sample was found to contain traces of cocaine, and while a solicitor for Carr tried to argue that the sample was taken incorrectly because Carr was not given any privacy, Bentley had an immediate answer. He said, “for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t be letting Mr Carr out of my sight while giving a sample. It is not unknown for prisoners to interfere with a sample by filling it with water”. The solicitor also tried to argue that there was no evidence that Carr had been given access to a solicitor on the night and nor was there evidence of him being notified of his rights, but the judge dismissed this almost immediately. He said that a solicitor could have “given no advice that would have altered the legal requirement on him to give a sample”.
Things when from bad to worse for Carr when it was discovered that there were twenty three previous convictions against him, including several for traffic offences he had already been banned from driving for twelve months back in March 2010 for driving without insurance. Carr described his status as self employed, as “a professional poker player of some notoriety in Limerick”.