Over 20,000 phantom breath tests in Roscommon/Longford Garda Division

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Garda

Over 20,000 phantom breath tests in Roscommon/Longford Garda Division

More than 20,000 false breath tests were recorded by gardaí in counties Longford and Roscommon over an eight year period, newly released figures show.

In a report published by Assistant Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan, 65,961 breath tests were conducted at Mandatory Alcohol Testing Checkpoints (MAT) in the Roscommon/Longford Garda Division between June 7, 2009 and April 10, 2017.

However, figures collated from Drager breathalyser devices supplied to gardaí showed the actual number of breath tests carried out totalled 43,181.
This corresponds to a discrepancy of approximately 22,780 or 53 per cent. Despite the large differences between verified and falsified breath tests carried out, the Division's overall rate falls some way below the national discrepancy rate of 71%.
The highest disparity came in the Tipperary garda division (338%) while the lowest was identified in Wexford (18%).
Nationally, Assistant Commissioner O'Sullivan found 3,498,400 breath test were recorded on the garda Pulse system while the records from the Drager breathalyser devices showed 2,040,179 tests were carried out.
In a statement issued following the publication of the report, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, said the figures are a concern.
“I am greatly disturbed by findings that indicate that between 3% and 9% of the PULSE records relating to MAT/MIT checkpoints are estimated to have inflated breath tests,” he said.