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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 21 April, 2018

Senior gardaí "looking closely" at drink-drive 'loophole' verdict

There has been speculation that the case could lead to many more drivers having charges struck out…

Image: An Garda Síochána via Facebook

SENIOR TRAFFIC GARDAÍ have said they’ll be closely reviewing a court case in Donegal which highlighted a possible loophole in drink-driving legislation, but that they don’t think it will have an impact on other such cases in future.

The Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday withdrew a charge against a driver who had failed a breathalyser test, after the man’s lawyer argued that the MAT checkpoint he had been stopped at was unlawful.

Solicitor Ciarán McLochlainn had argued that the checkpoint was unlawful as the authorisation for it had listed three different townlands for it to take place, whereas the Road Traffic Act states that it should clearly state one location.

There has been speculation that the case could lead to many more drivers having drink-drive and other motoring charges struck out.

But speaking this afternoon, Assistant Commissioner with the National Traffic Bureau John Twomey said he didn’t believe it would have “any impact on further such cases”.

He said the decision was being reviewed at senior level, but that no changes to procedure were envisaged:
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The Assistant Commissioner was speaking a press event highlighting the force’s Christmas motoring clampdown — it was revealed that 805 people were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in the weeks surrounding the festive period.

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