Drogheda Independent

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'Undriveable' car sees case dismissed

A MAN who was almost three times over the drink driving limit when he crashed his car into a telegraph pole had the case against him dismissed because the car was so badly damaged it could no longer be considered a mechanically propelled vehicle.

Damien Kierans (25), Chapel Road, Clogherhead, was charged with being drunk in charge of an MPV at the Chord Road on September 23 last.

Garda Ursula Clarke told the court gardaí had received a report of a single vehicle collision on the Chord Road at 6.05 a.m. on the date in question. She attended the scene and saw the vehicle had impacted with a telegraph poll just off the right hand lane.

She said there was one person in the driving seat of the car, the engine was running, the lights were on and the keys were in the ignition. She spoke to Damien Kierans, who was in the driving seat, and he was awake and responsive.

Garda Clarke said Kieran's speech was slurred and there was a strong smell of alcohol on his breath. The defendant was brought to Drogheda Garda Station where a subsequent intoxiliser test gave a reading of 84mg/100ml of breath.

She said the vehicle was removed from the scene by a recovery company as it was undriveable. It had been severely impacted by the accident, she said.

Defence barrister Irene Sands said a question arose as to whether the vehicle was an MPV because it was so badly damaged. She said the garda had given clear evidence that the car was not driveable and by law, if this was the case, then it could not be considered a mechanically propelled vehicle since it was not capable of being mechanically propelled because of the amount of damage.

Inspector Brendan Cadden said the evidence given was that the motor was running which meant it was still mechanically propelled. 'A severe impact doesn't mean it isn't driveable, it is mechanically propelled if the engine is still running,' he said.

However, Ms. Sands said the garda had twice agreed that the vehicle had not be driveable following the accident.

Agreeing, Judge Flann Brennan said: 'If it wasn't driveable then it wasn't an MPV, that is the law,' before dismissing the case.