State to pay costs in breathalyser language case

The State will pay High Court costs for a challenge to the validity of breathalyser test statements if printed in English only.

The case had its roots in a road-traffic prosecution of Mihai Avadenei, aged 29, with an address in Swords, Co Dublin. In 2014, solicitor Michael Staines, for Mr Avadenei, argued that the statement produced from a breath-test machine was not valid because it was in English only.

District Court judge Colin Gibbons ruled that failure to produce the Irish half of the statement meant that it was not “duly completed” and he asked the High Court for confirmation.

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan agreed in the High Court.

In May, the court of appeal overturned the ruling. The DPP sought costs for the High Court proceedings, as well as in the court of appeal, but Mr Justice Edwards affirmed yesterday the High Court’s award for costs in favour of Mr Avadenei, which had been stayed pending an appeal. He made no order for costs in respect of the appeal.


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