The law does not require a mandatory driving ban for those convicted of careless driving causing death as a first offence, and a sentencing judge has discretion on the matter, the Court of Appeal has heard.
This is what emerged during the hearing of an appeal brought by Colleen McCann, from Newry, who was given a 12-month fully suspended sentence for careless driving that caused the death of her friend, 17-year-old Ciaran McKenna 10 years ago in Co Monaghan.
McCann (27) with an address at Drumacon, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, was deported from the US in 2017 to face charges in relation to the crash.
Mr McKenna, a minor footballer with Crossmaglen Rangers, was killed in the collision at Maghernakill, Castleblayney, on the 30 of July 2012.
After imposing a suspended sentence, Judge John Aylmer adjourned the matter of any driving ban to be imposed, after hearing that her team is challenging the legislation involved.
McCann's legal team claim that there is a question mark over whether or not, according to legislation, her first conviction would amount to a "qualifying" offence.
According to the Road Traffic Act, a "qualifying" offence would mean a "consequential" - or mandatory - driving ban.
Her barrister, Martin O'Rourke QC, told the three-court judge that there was a minimum period of driving disqualification for a "qualifying" offence but that his client's first conviction for careless driving did not meet that threshold.
Responding for the State, Sunniva McDonagh SC said that when someone was judged to be unfit to hold a driving licence it was not "penal" in its character but a matter of "public safety".
Court of Appeal President Mr Justice George Birmingham said the court would reserve its judgment in the matter.