Drink-drive cases fail on missing paperwork, says judge

A judge has said a high proportion of alleged drink-driving cases are being struck because local doctors are not filling in paperwork properly.

Judge Paul Kelly made his comments as he was forced to strike out another such case at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal.

The case against a Portuguese woman allegedly caught drink-driving in Letterkenny in 2014 was struck out after a blood certificate was not fully completed by a member of Nowdoc. In turn, investigating gardaí had not checked the form.

Defence solicitor Kieran Dillon said the paperwork relating to his client had not been completed and so was not properly processed.

“The form wasn’t completed by the doctor, some of it was left blank and it wasn’t overlooked before it was signed,” he said.

Judge Paul Kelly told Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan that doctors were being paid by the State to carry out the service and they should complete their task in full. He suggested high-ranking gardaí should “have a chat” with doctors and gardaí to help improve the situation.

“There are a high proportion of cases like this one. I think the superintendent needs to have a chat with doctors and gardaí,” he said.

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