A man who while on his way home from a Christmas party was stopped by gardaí and failed a road side breath test was before Ballina District Court this week for drink driving and dangerous driving.
Sean Harte, 6 Castle Court, Ballina, was observed driving a Subaru on December 17 2011 after 11pm in Ballina. Garda Martin McNicholas said that the exhaust of the car was loud and he observed the car driven at speed. The car was followed out the Foxford Road, and near the Gala petrol station, Garda McNicholas said the car veered over the central white line. Garda Charlie Elliott, who was driving the patrol car that night, said Harte was forced to brake when he came upon two cars travelling in the same direction, which according to the garda allowed them to catch up with the car. Both gardaí said that it was icy that night on the roads.
The Subaru then turned in to the Childers Heights estate. Garda McNicholas said that the car entered the estate on the wrong side of the road. The patrol car’s lights were activated, however the car did not stop until it reached the last house in the estate and pulled into the driveway.
Harte failed a roadside breath test which was carried out on the driveway and he was arrested and brought to Ballina Garda Station where he provided a breath sample which showed 66mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
Harte had been coming home from a Christmas party that night where he admitted that he drank four to five pints. Solicitor for the defendant, Michael Bohan, said that his client denies speeding or crossing over the road, and he said that the roads were not icy that night — a report from Met Eireann, which showed that the temperatures were three to four degrees that night, was handed into court.
Mr Bohan said there was not sufficient evidence given in relation to the dangerous driving and he raised the fact that a breath sample was given on private property.
Judge Mary Devins adjourned the case for a decision to July 10 2012.