independent

Thursday 21 August 2014

Motorist admitted 'smoking joint' but case struck out

Published 18/02/2014 | 05:34

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A 23-YEAR-OLD man who Gardaí said admitted to having 'smoked a joint' a couple of hours before driving has had a charge of driving under the influence of an intoxicant struck out at Wexford District Court.

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Garda Kevin Burke told the court that he observed PJ Cummins of 33 Hewittsland driving erratically at having turned off the N25 for Hewittsland on March 1 of last year. He subsequently pulled the defendant over and said that he had 'slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet.' Garda Burke said that Cummins admitted to him that he had 'smoked a joint' two hours previously.

Cummins was subsequently brought to New Ross Garda Station where he gave a urine sample which, when returned, tested positive for cannabis.

Defence Solicitor Gerry Flynn argued that the Section 4 his client was arrested under referred specifically to alcohol and, as he had not been drinking, was irrelevant. Judge Lindsay agreed with this and looked to the Garda Superintendent who said: 'It must be a defect in the legislation.'

While the charge of driving under the influence of an intoxicant was subsequently struck out, Cummins still faced a charge of dangerous driving. However following what Judge Lindsay described as 'very fair' testimony from Garda Burke, it was downgraded to driving without reasonable consideration. Judge Lindsay said that he wouldn't disqualify Cummins, but handed him a €200 fine and said 'There is a lesson to be learned here young man!'

Gorey Guardian

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