independent

Thursday 2 October 2014

Diabetic fails to convince court he wasn't driving

Published 18/03/2014 | 05:34

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A MAN who claimed that he only sat into his van to retrieve his medication for diabetes and was not drink driving appeared before Judge William Early at Gorey District Court.

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A man who claimed that he only sat into his van to retrieve his medication for diabetes and was not drink driving appeared before Judge William Early at Gorey District Court.

Denis D'Arcy (53) of Apartment 44, Priory Court, St Michael's Road, Gorey, was present in court and denied the charge of driving or attempting to drive while exceeding the alcohol limit.

Garda Daly told the court that on June 10, 2012, at Wexford Street in Gorey, she approached the defendant in his vehicle. She said that the traffic travelling in the opposite direction had come to a standstill and D'Arcy had his indicator on and was attempting to turn right into his driveway. He was thus blocking traffic on the other side of the road and creating a gridlock. She said that when she approached the vehicle, she noticed a smell of alcohol from the accused and noticed that his speech was slurred. When she asked if he had been drinking, he replied 'yeah, a few.'

D'Arcy was taken to Gorey Garda station where he provided a breath test that read 51 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of breath.

Speaking on behalf of the defendant, Solicitor Garrett Fitzpatrick asked the Garda if she was sure that the engine was running and the indicator was flashing to which she replied: 'Yes. I have no doubt.' He questioned when Garda Daly had made her statement and she said she couldn't recall, to which he asked 'So it could have been months after the incident?'

'No, it would usually be done straight away,' Garda Daly replied.

When called to give evidence, the defendant said that he had been watching the Ireland v Croatia match on television and had had a few drinks when he started to feel unwell. As a result of his diabetes, he realised that he needed his glucose strips which were in his van.

He told the court that, as a result of the street being very narrow, he had parked his van across two spaces and out from the footpath at the end of his driveway in order to allow an artic truck have sufficient turning room to access his driveway the following morning to carry out some work.

He said that when he entered the vehicle he noticed that the passenger window was down a little bit and put the keys in the ignition to put it up. However, he said that the engine was definitely not running. He said he was then looking for his glucose strips when Garda Daly knocked on the window.

Under cross-examination, the defendant grew agitated and eventually he was asked by the Superintendent 'Did you not think it prudent to tell the Garda that you had only sat into the car to retrieve your medicine at the time?'

Solicitor Garrett Fitzpatrick pointed out that his client admitted to having drink taken and that the keys were in the ignition. He said however that if Garda Daly was not certain when her statement was made, then perhaps she could've been mistaken about some of the other details and his client was entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

'I believe the evidence of Garda Daly,' said Judge Early.

'I believe the defendant was driving and was attempting to turn into his driveway and he was over the limit.'

The court heard that the defendant had no previous convictions before Judge Early handed down a €500 fine and a two-year driving ban.

Gorey Guardian

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