Man who didn’t realise he was banned from driving is put off the road again

A MAN has been warned that he faces a custodial sentence if he is caught driving again while disqualified.

Davit Bitadze (48), 3 Cnoc Ard is charged with having no driving licence and no insurance on February 23 last.

The court heard how Bitadze had been stopped by gardaí at Ballykeeran, Kilmacrennan.


He was asked for his licence and produced a Georgian driving licence at the scene. A lawful demand was also made for his insurance documents but he failed to produce.

Gardaí discovered Bitadze had been disqualified from driving at Ballyshannon Court on February 3, 2022.

The court was told that on a separate date in February 2024, Bitadze was again stopped in the same Opal Astra car. He again had no documents and the vehicle was subsequently seized.

The court was told the defendant has six previous motoring convictions.

Solicitor Donough Cleary said his client did not realise he had been banned from driving.

“He has literally no English at all. He was not aware he had been disqualified from driving. He was in court on the day but there was no translator.”

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham queried why Bitadze did not seek a translator.


Responding, Mr Cleary said his client has been in the county for two years. He said Bitadze’s car has since been sold.

“These are his circumstances. The lessons have well and truly been learned.”

Judge Cunningham reiterated that she was “baffled” why Bitadze did not seek a translator.

“That really is a matter for him,” she said.

Mr Cleary said: “Someone who spoke Russian told him that day in Ballyshannon court that he had been fined but did not tell him that he had been disqualified.”

Banning Bitadze from driving for five years and fining him €400, Judge Cunningham said: “If caught driving again he could be looking at a custodial sentence.”

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