Limerick man smoked cannabis two hours before driving

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The man was convicted at Limerick District Court of drug driving following a contested hearing

The man was convicted at Limerick District Court of drug driving following a contested hearing

A LIMERICK man who was stopped while driving a number of hours after he smoked cannabis has been disqualified for four years.

David Lynch, aged 24, of Russell Lawn, Fr Russell Road, Dooradoyle, was convicted at Limerick District Court of drug driving following a contested hearing.

In evidence, Garda Alan Griffin said he first encountered the defendant when he observed him turning the wrong way onto the Dublin Road at 1.21am on June 17, 2016.

He said he observed the black Ford Focus being driven on the wrong side of the road and that it crossed the centre line on three occasions before he stopped the vehicle.

Garda Griffin told Judge Marie Keane Mr Lynch, who was slouched in the driver seat of his car, admitted he had smoked cannabis around two hours earlier.

The defendant, he said, was unsteady on his feet and “stumbled out onto the road” when he got out the car.

Following his arrest, Mr Lynch was taken to Henry Street garda station where he supplied a sample of blood which confirmed he had consumed cannabis.

Being cross-examined by solicitor Gary Keogh, Garda Griffin agreed there were a number of discrepancies between his statement and his direct evidence.

He said there were “typographical errors” in his statement and he denied suggestions that he may have confused Mr Lynch with another defendant.

“It was a human error, errors do occur,” he said.

Noting the evidence that his client had admitted smoking cannabis before he was cautioned, Mr Keogh submitted the admission was tainted and that the charge should be dismissed.

“It would be unsafe for a court to convict,” he said.

However, Judge Keane disagreed saying she was satisfied the actions of Garda Griffin were appropriate given the manner of the defendant’s driving.

She disqualified Mr Lynch from driving for four years and she fined him €300.