A 25 year old man who had contested a drink driving prosecution, on the grounds that he was out of the arresting garda's sight on two occasions, was convicted at Dundalk district court last week.
The court heard Jason Lambe of Carnroe, Kilkerley had refused to do a roadside breath test, as he claimed he wasn't the driver.
The investigating garda told the court last Wednesday that he had been on mobile patrol in the Castletown Road area around 2.30am on May 19th last, when he saw a 05 Dublin-registered red Volkswagen Passat, which appeared to be travelling at speed.
He said he turned the patrol car around and followed the car onto the Ecco Road before it turned sharply into Aisling Park, where it stopped on the left hand side of the road.
The garda said he demanded production of the driver's licence and got a strong smell of alcohol from the vehicle.
The court heard there was a male passenger in the car who also appeared intoxicated.
The Garda told how he had demanded that the defendant provide a roadside breath specimen, but Jason Lambe said he would not provide one, as he said he was not driving the vehicle.
The garda said he informed the accused that he had observed him driving and he again failed to comply with the direction to give a breath specimen.
During cross examination the garda agreed he had briefly lost sight of the car he was following on the Castletown Road, as it pulled onto the Ecco Road and turned into Aisling Park.
The court heard the defendant is not known to the officer.
When Judge John Coughlan asked if the garda got the car's registration when it was stopped, the officer said he had but added he had got a partial registration on the Castletown Road.
Insp. Martin Beggy argued that the prosecution relates to where the vehicle was stopped and the garda had given evidence of seeing the car driving in Aisling Park.
Judge Coughlan convicted the accused, who he heard had NO previous convictions.
He imposed a three year driving ban and a 75 euro fine, saying he could see the point the Defence was making.