Judge rules detention of suspected drink-driver at Limerick garda station was lawful

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Judge rules detention of suspected drink-driver at Limerick garda station was lawful

Limerick District Court

A MAN convicted of drink-driving was disqualified for two years after a judge ruled his detention at Henry Street garda station was lawful.

During a contested hearing, Limerick District Court was told Martin McCarthy, aged 28, of Coolroe, Ballincollig, County Cork was arrested following an incident in the early hours of November 26, last.

Sergeant Val McCormack said he observed a vehicle being driven by the defendant passing Henry Street garda station at 3.20am.

He said the lights were turned off and that Mr McCarthy appeared to be disoriented.

Following his arrest at Bishop’s Quay a short time later, the defendant was brought to the garda station where he supplied two specimens of breath which confirmed he was over the legal alcohol limit.

Being cross-examined by solicitor Adrian Frawley, Sgt McCormack agreed he began the statutory 20 minute ‘period of observation’ at 3.46am and that he restarted it at 3.59am after Mr McCarthy went to the toilet.

“It’s procedure,” he told Mr Frawley, adding it was best practice in accordance with his training.

Seeking to have the case dismissed, Mr Frawley submitted the period of observation should not have been restarted as his client had been accompanied into the toilet by Sgt McCormack.

Delivering her judgment, Judge Marian O’Leary said she was satisfied the defendant was advised of the consequences of taking a toilet break and she added she did not believe the second period of observation was excessive.

Mr McCarthy, who has lodged an appeal, was fined €300.