Almost 40,000 false breath tests recorded in Limerick over eight year period

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Almost 40,000 false breath tests recorded in Limerick over eight year period

More than 38,000 false breath tests were recorded in Limerick over an eight year period

ALMOST 40,000 false breath tests were recorded by gardai in the Limerick division over an eight year period it has been revealed.

In a report published this Wednesday, Assistant Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan found that 137,873 breath tests were conducted at MAT checkpoints in Limerick between June 7, 2009 and April 10, 2017.

However, figures recorded on the Drager breathalyser devices showed the actual number of breath tests carried out totalled 99,061.

This equates to a discrepancy of more than 38,800 or 39%. The national discrepancy rate was 71%.

The highest rate of discrepancy was found in the Tipperary garda division (385%) while the lowest discrepancy rate was identified in Kerry (9%).

Nationally, Assistant Commissioner O'Sullivan found that 3,498,400 breath test were recorded on the garda Pulse system over the eight year period while the records from the Drager breathalyser devices showed 2,040,179 tests were carried out – a difference of more than 1.4 million.

In his report, Assistant Commissioner concluded that some gardaí were making up the figures.

Systems and IT failures, a misinterpretation of policy, and failures of governance and oversight were also identified as contributory issues.

The report, which was discussed by Cabinet this Wednesday, shows that more than 28,000 MAT checkpoints were carried out in Limerick between June 2009 and April 2017 with an average of five breath tests being carried out at each checkpoint.