Ruling could see drink-driving cases thrown out of court

Ruling could see drink-driving cases thrown out of court

Drink driving cases could be thrown out of District Courts from today, after a High Court ruling.

It was decided yesterday that a statement printed from a machine at a Garda station in cases of suspected drink driving is invalid if it is only offered in English.

Department of Transport officials have been consulting with legal officials since the ruling, and are expected to issue a statement later.

Evan O'Dwyer, a solicitor in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, said that District Court judges are bound by High Court rulings, and will now have a choice to make.

"Myself and every other one of my colleagues who are going to court today will be standing up and saying: 'This has an implication for this particular case, and how is it to be dealt with?'," he said.

"Now, that's a matter then for each District Court judge to say: 'Well, I want to get a clearer picture on it, and I want it adjourned or I'm going to make a decision today that I am bound by the higher court, and I'm going to start striking out cases'."

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