Alcohol breath tests "exaggerated" by 125% in Kildare

Gardai

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

The gap between the number of alcohol breath tests recorded by gardai in the Kildare region and the actual number of tests which took place was overstated by almost 94,000 between June 2009 and April 2017.

In percentage terms the difference between the number of breath tests recorded on the Pulse system - effectively the garda database of recorded incidents - and the number actually taken in this area is 125%.

Nationally  the gap between recorded tests and actual tests is now put at 1,458,221 (71%).

The differences between different garda divisional area are substantial. For example overrecording in Meath amounted to 315% while Tipperary, at 385%,  was the highest nationally. Kildare was the second highest in the Eastern region, behind Meath.

Garda divisional areas in Dublin by and large showed the smallest number of differences between actual breath tests and recorded tests.

A report into the controversy suggests that  a significant number of vehicles which were “stopped and controlled” at checkpoints - but without the driver being breath tested - were entered on the system.

Ten of the 28 garda divisions showed differences of more than 100% and the figure for the South East was 142%.

The report also noted that in three divisions - including Kildare -  there was an increase in the number of checkpoints conducted and a decrease in the number of breath tests recorded on Pulse.