A drink driving conviction that was challenged on the grounds that the proof of postage of the defendant’s urine sample to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety was inadequate, was upheld at Dundalk Circuit Court last week.
The Defence had argued that a small sticker with a serial number, did not qualify as a certificate of postage. The court - which part heard the case last Tuesday, was told the appellant Eanna McArdle (23) of Willowgrove, Dundalk was arrested on suspicion of drink driving, following a collision on the Ardee Road on the 28th of October 2011 when the Toyota Corolla he was driving it a stone wall shortly after 9am.
The investigating garda said the appellant’s speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot when he spoke to him at the scene and he admitted driving the car approximately 15 minutes earlier. A urine specimen that was provided tested positive for being over the legal limit.
The Garda told the court that when he posted the sample he asked for a certificate of postage in the Post Office and was given a sticker which he put in his notebook that was shown to the court. When Judge James O’Donohoe asked why he had not insisted on a certificate the Garda replied that he was told this was the new type being used.
The Defence argued that this was not proof of postage of the sample and that the Garda should have cautioned the appellant before asking him anything about the incident. Judge O’Donohoe found against the Defence on that second point but said he had no certificate of postage before him. The case was put back until Thursday so further inquiries could be made.
State Solicitor for Louth Fergus Mullen told the court there is no requirement under legislation to produce a certificate of postage and explained that under a new computer barcode system the small stickers with a serial number are all that are retained.
The Judge said he was satisfied the proofs in the case had been made. He upheld the conviction but reduced the original fine of €350 to €100. The court heard the appellant has been serving the two year driving ban that was imposed in the district court, since December.