Judge dismisses drink driving charge against garda who was five times over the legal limit
A judge convicted a 35-year-old garda of careless driving after throwing out a charge of drink driving despite a recorded breathalyser reading of 265mg.
The limit in Ireland is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
The court heard that on the 29th of August 2013 Garda Una Ryan of 13 Hillcrest, Kilcullen, stationed at Naas Garda Station, was pulled over and breathalysed on Edward Street in Newbridge, Kildare.
Two officers from Newbridge Station Garda Young and Garda Conor Sheehan saw a car pulling out with no lights on, the court was told.
The vehicle then drove straight through a red light and nearly caused a collision.
The officers then turned on their siren and pulled Garda Ryan over.
They found that she had a strong smell of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet.
Her breathalyser result was five times over the legal limit.
Despite this the youngest judge in the state, Grainne O’Neill, accepted a defence submission that there were technical issues with the procedures on the night.
Judge O’Neill said there was an issue over the caution although Garda Young was positive that he did caution Garda Ryan.
Garda Ryan was convicted of careless driving and fined €300.
The Leinster Leader reports that in mitigation Garda Ryan’s barrister said that his client was a 35-year-old single woman and that because of her profession it was a huge embarrassment for her.
She had undergone rehabilitation and was in much better health.
He said her conviction would impact on her job and she has been taken off certain duties and hopes she will be restored to full duties.
He also said that Garda Ryan will be the subject of disciplinary matters arising from this case.
The Garda Ombudsman’s office (GSOC) said that no complaint regarding Garda Ryan has been made to them.
GSOC sources confirmed that An Garda Siochana are only obliged to refer a case to GSOC if there has been a death or serious crime and that members of the public can only submit a complaint if they were directly involved in an incident or were a witness.
“I wouldn’t expect to get a report in on this” said the source.