Monday 5 December 2016

Supreme Court to hear driver appeal over language of breath-test results

Published 12/08/2016 | 02:30

Hundreds of cases have been on hold since Mihai Avadenei successfully challenged his prosecution in the High Court last September. Stock picture
Hundreds of cases have been on hold since Mihai Avadenei successfully challenged his prosecution in the High Court last September. Stock picture

The Supreme Court is to hear an appeal by a Romanian man challenging his drink driving prosecution on the grounds he was not supplied with a reading in Irish.

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The court has issued a determination saying it will allow an appeal - in a case that has implications for 1,500 drink driving prosecutions around the country.

Hundreds of cases have been on hold since Mihai Avadenei successfully challenged his prosecution in the High Court last September.

The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court ruling following an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions, but now the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a further appeal, this time taken by Mr Avadenei.

The motorist, with an address in Swords, Co Dublin, was stopped by a Garda when he was doing 80kmh in a 50kmh zone in the early hours of April 21, 2014. He was breathalysed at Store Street Garda Station. However, the intoxilyser apparatus printed out the results in English only.

Mr Avadenei, who is being represented by solicitor Michael Staines, subsequently successfully argued in the District Court and the High Court that the form was invalid as it was not printed in Irish also.

The case revolves around the interpretation of Section 13 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 and whether or not a print-out is a "duly completed" document for use in evidence if it is not printed in both English and Irish.

In seeking the latest appeal, lawyers for Mr Avadenei argued the case concerned an issue of public importance and that 1,500 live prosecutions were affected by the interpretation of Section 13.

Irish Independent

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