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22 May 2022

Open can of beer in centre console of car, Dundalk court heard

Open can of beer in centre console of car, Dundalk court heard

A garda observed an open can of beer in the centre console of a car when he spoke to a man who he subsequently arrested on suspicion of drink driving, Dundalk district court heard last week.

The Defence barrister argued at the contested hearing that his client was working on the car, and was only sitting in the vehicle.

The investigating garda told the court last Wednesday that there was an open can of beer in the centre console of the car when he spoke to Michael Lewandowski (45) with an address at Greenacres, Dundalk.

In addition to being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the defendant's car was also seized as no tax, insurance or NCT was on display and he was an unaccompanied learner driver.

The Defence barrister put it to the witness that his client was parked right outside his home and that he'd been sitting in it as he was working on the vehicle which had just come into his possession.

He said the lights were on and the engine was running, but the Garda said he'd seen the car moving before it came to a stop.

The second garda, a trained operator of the Evidenzer machine, gave evidence of processing the defendant as a specified driver, as he was driving on a learner's permit, and the reading was above the legal limit.

The Defence lawyer claimed that there was no evidence that the investigating garda had had sight of his client's driving licence which he argued was a required proof, but Judge Máire Conneely said she was satisfied the State had proven their case.

She convicted the defendant as a specified driver, of driving or attempting to drive the vehicle with a blood alcohol level of above the legal limit.

After hearing the 45 year old coffin maker had no previous convictions, Judge Connelly imposed a €350 fine and a two year disqualification.

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