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cop suspended Garda driver arrested on suspicion of drink driving following crash in Meath

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The Garda logo on a Garda vehicle in Dublin.

The Garda logo on a Garda vehicle in Dublin.

The Garda logo on a Garda vehicle in Dublin.

A garda driver has been suspended after being arrested on suspicion of drink driving in a garda car.

The officer was detained yesterday morning following a road crash in Co Meath.

Local gardaí in Navan responded to reports of a single car collision involving an official Garda state vehicle along the M3 at around 10.30am.

The driver of the car was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant. He has since been removed from duty by the Garda Commissioner.

The suspended officer is an official garda driver, who are tasked with transporting senior Government ministers - including the Taoiseach and Justice Minister - as well as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Earlier this year Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney had to defend being assigned a garda driver, despite no longer being Tánaiste, citing security reasons over regular official journeys to Northern Ireland.

Garda drivers act as security detail for the individual they are assigned to and are permitted to carry firearms.

The officer arrested yesterday is now the subject of an internal inquiry as well as a criminal investigation on suspicion of breaching the road traffic act.

A Garda spokeswoman said: "Gardai in Navan attended the scene of a single vehicle road traffic collision on the M3 at approximately 1030am, Monday 09/11/2020.

"The collision involved an unmarked official Garda car with one occupant. No persons were injured.

"The driver, a member of An Garda Síochána, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant and a criminal investigation into breaches of the road traffic act is currently ongoing.

"An internal discipline investigation has also commenced and the member of An Garda Síochána has been suspended from duty.

"As this is an ongoing criminal investigation An Garda Síochána has no further comment," the spokeswoman added.

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