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08 Aug 2022

Dundalk court: Drink driving charge dismissed

Dundalk court: Drink driving charge dismissed

Dundalk courthouse

A County Down man who failed a roadside breath test has had the case against him dismissed at Dundalk District Court after his barrister successfully argued that no evidence had been given about the setting used on the device when the test was administered.

Colm Devlin (47) of Leitrim Road, Hilltown, Newry had contested a charge of drink driving at Lower Faughart, Dundalk on January 12th last year.

A member of the Roads Policing Unit gave evidence last Wednesday of being on patrol on the N52, at Navan, Dundalk shortly after 8pm, when he saw a Mercedes van in front driving erratically, indicating left but then turning right at Major’s Hollow roundabout. 

The garda told how the driver didn’t stop so he overtook and his sergeant indicated to the defendant to pull in.

The court heard the defendant, who had a full driving licence, failed the roadside breath test and he arrested him on suspicion of drunk driving. 

He was taken to the doctor’s room at Dundalk Garda Station where he provided a breath specimen which was above the legal limit.

When Mr. Devlin’s barrister asked about the conversation they had after his client was stopped, the garda said the defendant had told him he was down to collect a van and wasn’t sure where he was going.

The lawyer said given the ‘reasonable explanation’ for the manner of his driving it was difficult to understand in the absence of anything else, why the garda had administered the roadside test.

The garda pointed out the defendant had failed to stop, but replied “I can’t remember” when the barrister asked him had he put that to him.

The garda confirmed the roadside result was the sole reason Mr Devlin had been arrested.

The barrister argued there was ‘a fatal gap’ as he said there was no evidence that the device had the correct setting for his client who held a full licence.

Judge Eirinn McKiernan dismissed the case.

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