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Doctor over the limit on way to work

A DOCTOR who was breathalysed after being involved in a car crash on his way to work was over the limit.

Dr Zahir Mohamed has been found guilty of professional misconduct by a Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry.

The doctor had argued that he had not consumed alcohol, that he was refused medical treatment and that he was subject to a racial comment from a doctor who came to his aid -- but these claims were rejected by the inquiry panel.

Dr Mohamed was detained after his car crashed on the Kilbeggan off-ramp of the M6 in Co Westmeath at around 7.30pm on August 7, 2011.

The arresting garda told the inquiry that the doctor smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. The Sudan native failed a roadside breath test but refused to give a blood or urine sample at the garda station.

Dr Mohamed claimed that a mild concussion and the fact that he was fasting for the muslim period of Ramadan caused him to appear unsteady.

He also told the inquiry that following the accident, which happened as he drove to Athlone to begin a 7pm to 7am shift as an on-call GP, he sat in to the car of another doctor identified only as Dr X, who came across the scene and notified the emergency services.

Dr Mohamed testified that when he requested that Dr X call an ambulance, she told him "we don't have ambulances for people like you".

He said he took this to be a racially motivated comment.

He also told the inquiry that Dr X was carrying a number of empty bottles of Budweiser in her car and he suggested that he smelled of alcohol through inhaling fumes from them.

Dr X told the inquiry that both of Dr Mohamed's allegations were untrue.

The Fitness to Practise Committee report will now be passed to the full Medical Council which will decide on an appropriate sanction.