A Claremorris man who had a previous conviction for drink driving was given a six year driving ban and fined €750 at Claremorris District Court this week.
Fergal Flynn of Cloonagh, Taugheen, Claremorris was arrested by Garda Jason Lardner on April 10 2010 after Garda Lardner saw him driving erratically on the old Knock Road, Claremorris at 4.15am.
Garda Lardner told the court that he followed Flynn’s car and saw him indicate to turn left, but he missed the first turn then took the next left turn into Elm Wood estate, when the car went into the estate he said it had to swerve to avoid a traffic calming measure before it pulled into the driveway of number 26, Elm Wood, a house owned by Flynn and one which he told the court he was staying in that night.
Garda Lardner told the court that he and Garda Brenda Burke pulled up in the patrol car outside of the house and he beckoned Flynn to come out and speak to him on the roadside which he did. When he tried to administer a roadside breath test, Flynn sucked on the device rather than blow into it on three occasions. Afterwards he arrested Flynn on suspicion of drink driving. A blood sample was taken which returned a reading of 118 mlgs of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Solicitor for Flynn, Mr Evan O’Dwyer raised the issue of a inconsistency in relation to the form completed by Dr Robert Marsh in relation to the time of the sample being taken which was an hour after what the Gardai had noted. In his evidence Dr Marsh told the court that it was an error on his behalf.
Mr O’Dwyer also told the court that his client said that the roadside breath test was administered inside the gates of his clients property not on the roadside as the Gardai said. Flynn told the court in his evidence that he did not go outside the property and that the Gardai entered his property to speak to him and administer the road side breath test.
In her judgement, Judge Mary Devins said that while some of the evidence was sloppy, at no time in his own evidence did Flynn say that he asked the Gardai to get off his property and in that there was an inherent acceptance that they were lawfully on his property. Judge Devins convicted and fined the 40-year-old local authority employee €750 and disqualified him from driving for six years, after hearing that Flynn had a previous drink driving conviction in 2008.