Drunken driver caught at drinks premises
A KERRY resident lost a case against a drunken driving charge as a judge found that the mouth of the entrance way to a drinks’ wholesalers in Listowel was a public space.
Patryk Wojeuski, 68 Charles St, Listowel, was observed driving out of the Lartigue Village estate in Clieveragh, Listowel, at around 1.35am on April 25 of this year by two gardaí on duty in a patrol car.
Arresting garda David Murphy told Judge David Waters at Listowel District Court on Thursday that the red Opel Vectra faced into the patrol car as it came out of the estate, but then seemed to take ‘evasive action’ in making an immediate right turn into the mouth of Galvin’s drinks distributors premises. Gda Murphy said that he heard the ‘screeching’ of tyres as the car made the manoeuvre.
Gda Murphy spoke to the driver who gave his name as Patryk Wojeuski.
“There was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor from his breath. I asked him to step out and as he did so he seemed to stumble. I observed he was wearing furry slippers... and that his eyes were glassy,” Gda Murphy told the Court.
Mr Wojeuski was arrested and taken to Listowel Garda Station where two breath specimens he submitted to the ‘evidencer’ machine each returned a reading of 60mcg of alcohol per 100mls of breath.
Solicitor Anne Keane cross-examined Gda Murphy on a number of points, including the nature of the parking area at the mouth of Galvin’s premises. “It’s not open to the general public...it certainly wouldn’t be classed as a public car-park?” Ms Keane posed. Gda Murphy said that it was used by members of the public, as a car-park and as an opening for cars to turn around in.
“There’s no indication there to say it’s public or private,” Garda Murphy said.
In delivering his ruling on the issue, Judge Waters remarked that the garda ‘put his finger on it when he said the public use it for turning...’ It would have required a barrier, a sign indicating privacy and a clamp warning to have been considered private, Judge Waters said.
He convicted Mr Wojeuski, putting him off the road for two years and fining him €300 for the charge.