Drink-driver became 'aggressive' after bystanders filmed him waiting to be breathalysed

He was penalised previously for drink-driving arising out of this same incident and was put off the road for three years.
Drink-driver became 'aggressive' after bystanders filmed him waiting to be breathalysed

The solicitor said that initially there was a delay when alcohol testing equipment had to be brought to the scene. File photo

A drink driver got aggressive with gardaí because he was embarrassed about having to wait a long time at the side of the road at a time when some people gathered and started video-recording the incident.

Kieran Noonan of 17 Hollyville, Hollyhill, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to a charge of resisting or wilfully obstructing Garda Conor Smiddy.

Sergeant Pat Lyons said Garda Dormer stopped the motorist on April 4, 2020, at Harbour View Road, Knocknaheeny, Cork.

The 46-year-old was only before the court on the obstruction charge as other charges arising out of the incident had been dealt with previously.

Sgt Lyons said: “Initially he was co-operative but his mood changed and he began arguing about having to wait at the side of the road and he told Garda Smiddy to f*** off and told him he would hit him.

“He clenched his fists and he had to be handcuffed. He was taken away in a patrol van and at the station he continued to be aggressive.” The sergeant said that there had been a delay because a patrol van had to be called to the scene because of Covid regulations in force at the time. It occurred during the first lockdown period.

Armed gardaí from the regional support unit responded to a call to the scene at the height of the defendant’s aggressive behaviour.

Sgt Lyons said the accused had a previous conviction for obstructing gardaí and four for engaging in threatening behaviour.

Case for the defence

Joseph Cuddigan, defence solicitor, said the motorist found himself in a most unfortunate situation and he was very apologetic for his behaviour.

Mr Cuddigan said the accused had consumed a large quantity of alcohol which affected his attitude on the night. He was also penalised previously for drink-driving arising out of this same incident and was put off the road for three years.

The solicitor said that initially there was a delay when alcohol testing equipment had to be brought to the scene and a second delay in waiting for the personnel carrier.

“All of this happened across from a garage and a number of people stopped to videotape it. As you appreciate this sort of recording can end up on social media,” Mr Cuddigan said.

Kieran Noonan had been refused when he asked if he could sit into his own car or the garda car so that he would not be standing on the side of the road in public view, and that was when he became aggressive, the solicitor said.

“He tenders his sincerest apologies,” Mr Cuddigan said.

Judge Olann Kelleher said the defendant could do 200 hours of community service to avoid going to jail for six months.

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