Drunken driver caught at drinks premises

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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