Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen has told the Dáil his decision to drive after having a drink was a "stupid, stupid mistake".
The Minister apologised to the Dáil this evening after it emerged he was banned from driving for three months in 2016.
He said the only other offence he could find not already in the public domain was being fined for failing to display a tax disc 14 years ago.
Minister Cowen told deputies he was sorry for his actions.
He said: "My decision in September 2016 to drive home after consuming any alcohol was a stupid, stupid mistake... it had never happened before the 18th September 2016, and it has never happened since.
"It is a mistake for which I am profoundly sorry.
"This grave error and my subsequent humiliation will hopefully to highlight the terrible dangers and consequences of drink driving."
He confirmed he held a learners' permit at the time as his previous provisional licence had lapsed.
However, Minister Cowen said it was "not uncommon" for people of all ages to drive with either a provisional licence or learners' permit before recent reforms of the system.