De­lay defence cuts no ice in drink-drive case

Wexford People - - NEWS -

A GARDA pros­e­cut­ing his first drink drive case se­cured a con­vic­tion in the face of cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by a bar­ris­ter who spe­cialises in such mat­ters.

De­fen­dant Stephen Jef­fers (24) of 56 Ard Alainn, Castle­bridge, was ac­cused by Garda Ea­monn Cahill of be­ing over the le­gal limit for al­co­hol at Clonard Lit­tle on Fe­bru­ary 7 last year.

A dan­ger­ous driv­ing charge was also con­sid­ered by the Dis­trict Court sit­ting in Wex­ford where Garda Cahill gave ev­i­dence of what he ob­served while on pa­trol shortly af­ter 3 a.m. on the date in ques­tion.

The ve­hi­cle driven by Stephen Jef­fers came to his at­ten­tion near the Killeen round­about and the gar­daí fol­lowed it as it cut the cor­ner turn­ing off the main road to­wards Clonard af­ter fail­ing to in­di­cate.

The ac­cused mo­torist failed a road­side breath test af­ter pulling up and he later pro­vided a urine sam­ple to Doc­tor Stephen Bowe which showed, on anal­y­sis, a con­cen­tra­tion of al­co­hol more than twice the le­gal limit.

Jef­fers told the garda at the time that he was com­ing home from a fam­ily chris­ten­ing.

De­fend­ing bar­ris­ter Martin Dully suc­cess­fully ar­gued that the ev­i­dence about cut­ting the cor­ner was not suf­fi­cient to sus­tain a dan­ger­ous driv­ing con­vic­tion.

How­ever, his sug­ges­tion that the drink drive pros­e­cu­tion should fall be­cause there was a de­lay in send­ing the urine sam­ple to the lab­o­ra­tory at the Med­i­cal Bureau of Road Safety cut no ice with Judge Gerard Haughton.

Mr Dully told the court that dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion would have se­ri­ous con­se­quences for some­one who drives for a liv­ing but he ac­cepted that his client knew on the night that he was over the limit.

A fine of €500 came with a bill for €250 costs and the manda­tory three year loss of li­cence.

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