Monday 23 October 2017

Drink driving suspect lent his phone to off-duty garda

A drink drive suspect lent his phone to an off-duty garda so that officers could take him into custody.

The prosecution of 28-year-old Keith Burke of Ballyvaldon, Blackwater stands adjourned to allow Judge Gerard Haughton consult case law.

However, he first heard prosecution evidence in the matter as he sat at the District Court in Ardcavan, not far from the scene of the alleged offence.

Burke was charged with being over the alcohol limit while driving at Ballycrane in Castlebridge in the early hours of October 31, 2015.

The prosecuting garda was Brian Delaney but the matter first came to the attention of Garda Niall Brophy. He told how he finished his tour of duty a 3.40am on the morning in question and was heading home across Wexford bridge.

He found himself following a 2005 Wexford registered Peugeot 206 which was travelling very slowly and which crossed on to the wrong side of the road several times.

It narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a taxi and almost clipped the hedgerow as it made its way through roadworks.

The Peugeot came to a halt after Garda Brophy flashed his headlights at Ballycrane.

Brophy discovered that his mobile was dead but Burke gave him his phone so that the garda could contact colleagues at the station in Wexford.

When Garda Delaney arrived, Burke was still behind the wheel and, when he got out of the car, he required assistance to stay upright.

He was arrested and a blood sample returned a reading which showed a concentration of alcohol in his system well above the legal limit for driving.

Defending solicitor Maeve Breen argued that her client had been deprived of his liberty, effectively detained for 20 minutes awaiting the arrival of Garda Delaney.

The judge felt that he must check the precedents in the law reports and adjourned to April 4.

Wexford People

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