Longford District Court: Drink driving charge struck out

A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged under the Road Traffic Act had his case struck out following a hearing into the matter.

Noel Ferguson (57), Lattone, Kiltyclogher, Co Leitrim appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with driving while over the legal limit of alcohol of 22 mg/alcohol per 100 m/breath at Lisbrack Road, Longford on August 29, 2017.

The court heard that the case centered around a minor road traffic collision in the Lisbarck area of Longford town.

Outlining his evidence to the court, Garda Martin McGowan said that he received a call at approximately 5:40pm on the date in question with regards to an accident that involved two cars and he went straight to the scene.

“One car had driven into the back of another car on approach to the roundabout,” added Garda McGowan, before pointing to the fact that when he arrived at the scene it was obvious that no major damage had been caused to the vehicles involved.

“I spoke to both drivers and the defendant presented himself as the driver of one of the cars involved, but when I was speaking to him I detected a smell of alcohol from him.”

Meanwhile, the court heard that Garda McGowan carried out a roadside breath test on the defendant, which he failed, and Mr Ferguson was subsequently arrested on suspicion of drink driving and taken to Longford Garda Station.

At the station, the court was told that the defendant provided two breath samples and an intoxilyzer test indicated a reading of 53 mg/alcohol per 100 ml/breath.

“I was called to the scene of the accident at 5:40pm and at 5:46pm I submitted Mr Ferguson for breath test,” added the Garda.
Judge Hughes then asked the State if it had recorded a time of driving, however the Judge was informed that this had not been done.
“I didn’t record that and it was genuine error on my part,” said Garda McGowan.

Defence solicitor Frank Gearty then pointed out to the court that his client was contesting the case on that one point.

“There was no time of driving recorded and therefore it is impossible to convict my client in respect of this,” the solicitor added.

“That is the point of all this - there is no time of driving.”

Meanwhile, before striking the matter out, Judge Hughes said it was most unusual for Garda McGowan to make errors.

“Your attention to detail is outstanding at all times when you give your evidence; this is most unfortunate,” concluded Judge Hughes.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.