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Medic queries asthma excuse

A LEADING medic has questioned Alan Shatter's claim that he could not complete the breathalyser test because he was an asthmatic.

Professor Luke Clancy, director general of TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland, said while "theoretically" the condition could have affected his ability to perform the test, his attack at the time would have to be severe.

"Asthma certainly affects your ability to breathe but there are questions as to how big a breath you need, the volume that's needed and the rate it must flow to give a reliable reading.

"But if he was that bad, why was he driving? He would have to have interference with his breathing at the time.

"If you are an asthmatic you can be perfectly well, and if you're properly treated you should be perfectly well most of the time. If you had an episode despite being treated normally then you might be impaired in the test."

Irish Independent