Drink driving charge dismissed following lack of critical proofs

A drink driving charge against a Claremorris man was dismissed by Judge Aeneas McCarthy in Ballyhaunis District Court this week, following the inability of gardaí to provide two essential proofs to prove the case.

Damien Mannion, Derryhog, Tullrahen, Claremorris, had contested the case after he was arrested by Garda David Donnelly at Hazel Hills, Ballyhaunis on March 15 2009. Garda Donnelly had stopped Mannion after he saw him driving at excessive speed through the town. When he spoke to Mannion he told the court that he noticed that his eyes were glazed and there was a smell of alcohol so he formed the opinion that he was drink driving. Garda Donnelly got Mannion to perform a roadside breath test, which he failed, and subsequently arrested him and brought him to Ballyhaunis Garda Station. Mannion gave a blood sample to the doctor who had been called which, when the results were returned, showed a reading of 216mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Under cross examination from solicitor Evan O’Dwyer Garda Donnelly admitted to the court that he did not have written down when he received the results of the blood sample from the medical bureau. Mr O’Dwyer also made a submission to the court that he was prejudiced in his defence of his client as it was nearly 15 months since the incident and this was the first time it had come to court and his client had only been served with the summons to appear in April.

Judge McCarthy took on board Mr O’Dwyer’s submissions, but dismissed the case on the basis of two missing proofs from the Garda evidence, the lack of a date of the returning of the results to Garda Donnelly and the fact that he had not been shown proof of postage of the samples which was an essential proof to the case.


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