Off-duty garda arrested on suspicion of drink driving

An off-duty garda has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving after the vehicle he was driving rear-ended a garda patrol car which was responding to a roadside breakdown.

The three-car collision happened on the N2, near Moyles, Co Monaghan, at around 11.30pm on Saturday night. Two gardaí and a motorist were injured in the crash and were taken to hospital, but their injuries were not thought to be serious.

The off-duty garda was released without charge after providing a sample. A file will be prepared for the director of public prosecutions. Some time after 11pm on Saturday, a car broke down on the hard shoulder near Moyles. It is thought the driver rang gardaí, who sent a patrol car to the scene.

On arrival, the garda driver and a colleague alighted from their vehicle and approached the broken-down car. Then a third vehicle slammed into the back of the patrol car, smashing into the corner of the vehicle. The patrol car then collided with the stationary car. All three vehicles suffered extensive damage. The two gardaí who had travelled to the scene and the driver of the original vehicle received injuries.

“The two garda were talking to the man in the car that had broken down when their patrol car was rear-ended. That caused the patrol car to hit into the car that had broken down,” said a garda source.

The source said it caused significant damage to all three vehicles, including the new Garda Hyundai patrol vehicle. The three injured were taken to hospital, he confirmed, but said their injuries were not serious.

The driver of the third vehicle, an off-duty garda, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

He was taken to the local garda station where he provided a sample. He was then released without charge.

The scene was preserved for a technical examination. Forensic collision specialists yesterday conducted a detailed examination of the scene. This included determining the speed and trajectory of the third vehicle and the point of impact. The vehicles were removed for further examination.

This examination, together with the results from the sample, will form part of the file for the DPP. Gardaí informed the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission about the incident.

An ombudsman spokeswoman confirmed it was involved: “The incident was referred to GSOC under section 102 of the Garda Act and we are examining the circumstances that led to the incident.”

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