A man had a drink driving charge struck out of court in Enniscorthy District Court last week, after the prosecuting Garda failed to give evidence to the court that he formed the opinion that the man was drunk before arresting and charging him.James Myers of 14 Fr. Murphy Park, Enniscorthy was charged with drunken driving at Mary Street, Enniscorthy on March 30 2002. Four other
A man had a drink driving charge struck out of court in Enniscorthy District Court last week, after the prosecuting Garda failed to give evidence to the court that he formed the opinion that the man was drunk before arresting and charging him.
James Myers of 14 Fr. Murphy Park, Enniscorthy was charged with drunken driving at Mary Street, Enniscorthy on March 30 2002. Four other charges were also struck out beforehand.
Eyewitness Francis Fortune told the court he had called the Garda’ after a car came out of the Monageer Road in front of him as he was driving into Enniscorthy from the Ballagh at around 9.30 p.m. He had to swerve in the road to miss it. He told the court the car then backed up and follow him closely. When he slowed down, it passed him out. He followed the car into the town, and passed him out on the Island Road and called the Garda’ again.
Garda Bohane told the court that he had gone looking for the car on receipt of the call, and found the car trying to turn at Mary Street. 'It was apparent he had trouble turning and seemed not to be in proper control,' said Garda Bohane, adding that he asked the driver, James Myers, to turn off the engine, and step out of the car. 'He appeared unsteady on his feet and incapable of driving a car,' said Garda Bohane. He then arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving. The defendant gave a sample of urine, which later revealed 252 mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine.
Solicitor for the defendant John O'Leary asked the Garda if he had taken the keys out of the car. Garda Bohane said he had. 'The defendant will say he went off and got chips, and while he was gone, you took the keys and when he got back he found a different set of keys,' said Mr. O'Leary.
Garda Bohane said that another member of the Traffic Corps in the area later told him he had taken the first set of keys.
'My instructions are he found another set of keys in the car, and that he then drove,' said John O'Leary. 'Does it ring a bell that you removed the keys and explained to the defendant you had removed the keys and you discovered he had his own set. The defendant is adamant he had that conversation with you. Your star witness has no recollection of another Garda on the scene'.
Garda Bohane said the keys were taken from his car, and insisted there had been another Garda who had taken the first set of keys. He didn't know where he was stationed.
John O'Leary then made a submission to the court that Garda Bohane had given evidence he formed the opinon that the driver was incapable of driving, but that more than this was required.
Judge Gerard Furlong agreed since there was no mention of Section 49, which relates to suspicion of drunken driving, and struck the case out.