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18 Aug 2022

Kildare courts: Drug-driving case dismissed by judge

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Kildare courts: Drug-driving case dismissed by judge

The case was heard on Thursday, July 28, at Naas Courthouse. Picture: File Photograph

A drug-driving case was dismissed at Naas District Court on Thursday, July 28, after a garda failed to indicate proper protocol to the court.

Judge Michéle Finan struck out the case of Kieron Bolger, with an address listed as 3683 Liffey Heights, Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare.

It was heard that the 33-year-old defendant was accused of driving while under the influence of cocaine at a garda checkpoint in Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace, on July 22, 2019.

The garda at the checkpoint gave evidence that he noticed that the defendant’s speech was slurred and he had 'glassy' eyes.

He said that after performing a breath test on the defendant, he tested positive for cocaine, and was brought to a local garda station for a follow-up blood test, which would be run through a machine used to detect a variety of intoxicants.

The garda added that, following a 20 minute observation period, the resulting test indicated that the accused also had cannabis in his system.

He also offered Mr Bolger a choice between the two vials produced containing his blood, if he wished to pursue an independent analysis.

During cross-examination, Mr Bolger’s barrister, Donncha Craddock, pointed out that the garda did not outline that the breathalyser apparatus for the test was sanitised beforehand.

He also said that the cannabis could have come from trace amounts in the cigarette and added that, as an example, a number of medicines have trace amounts of the drug codeine.

Although another garda told the court that the garda in question was fully trained to operate the machine, Mr Craddock pointed out that this was only an assumption, and the garda should have simply explained every single step of the procedure.

He asked Judge Finan to dismiss the case.

After consideration, the judge sided with Mr Craddock and dismissed the case.

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