Driver who swerved suddenly at Limerick garda checkpoint was over the limit

Limerick District Court heard the man swerved suddenly as he approached a garda checkpoint

Limerick District Court heard the man swerved suddenly as he approached a garda checkpoint

A FARMER who swerved suddenly as he approached a Limerick garda checkpoint was more than three times over the legal alcohol limit, a court has heard.

Pat Cusack, aged 63, of Clonile, Old Cratloe Road was fined €500 and disqualified for three years in relation to the incident which happened at 3.30am on June 14, 2016.

At Limerick District Court, Garda Paul Baynham said he and a colleague were manning a crime prevention checkpoint at Old Cratloe Road when he was alerted to the revving engine of a vehicle “at the top of the road”.

He said he observed the Mitsubishi Pajero, being driven by the defendant, “swerve all of a sudden to the left hand side of the road” and pause at a break in the footpath close to the Limerick Baptist Church.

Garda Baynham said when the jeep stopped at the checkpoint, he had to knock on the window to get Mr Cusack’s attention. There was a “strong smell of alcohol” and that the defendant’s speech was “slurred and delayed”.

Having failed a roadside breath test, Mr Cusack, was arrested and brought to Henry Street garda station for processing.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told a doctor was contacted at 4.04am as it was “not possible” to contact a garda trained to carry out an evidenzer test. Mr Cusack later provided a urine sample which showed a concentration of 210 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine – the legal limit is 67.

Solicitor Darach McCarthy submitted his client’s driving had been “proper and appropriate” and that there was an “unreasonable delay” in contacting the doctor.

He also questioned Garda Baynham’s recollection of what happened saying people’s memory can be “diminished or frayed at the edges given the passage of time”.

Judge O’Leary rejected the submissions saying the garda had dealt with the case in an exemplary fashion. She deferred the disqualification until March 14, 2019.

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