independent

Monday 22 September 2014

Drove drunk after Obama debate

Published 25/03/2014 | 05:38

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Brian Carroll (26) of Pallas, Gorey, was fined €250 and banned from driving for three years when the district court heard he drove home from the pub after watching an Obama v Romney US presidential debate there.

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The incident took place at Ballyrahan, Gorey, on October 4, 2012, where the defendant was stopped by gardaí. Garda Hayes told the court that the accused smelt of alcohol and had slurred speech when talking to him. He was subsequently arrested and brought to Gorey Garda station where he gave a urine sample that read 299 mg of alcohol per 100 ml.

A barrister speaking on behalf of Carroll asked the garda why her client was not breathalysed, to which he replied that he was not fully trained to use the equipment. She sought to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the garda gave no specific evidence that in the Garda station, the containers used for the urine samples were individually sealed by the doctor on duty, and that he had merely said the box in which the containers had been put were sealed. She also said that Ballyrahan, the area described as the location of the offence, was not specific enough to show the location of the crime.

Judge William Early said that he found Garda Hayes's evidence entirely reasonable and that there was no merit to the submission regarding the area of the arrest.

'It's very clear that Mr Carroll is guilty as charged,' said the judge.

The court was then told that the incident was 'a simple lapse of judgement in which he had gone to the pub to watch the Obama v Romney debate and drove home.'

Judge Early said it was an 'exceptionally high reading' and that the defendant was 'a danger to himself and other road users' before handing down the €250 fine and three-year ban. Carroll was also ordered to make a contribution to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety of €95.

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