Earlier this week the High Court ruled in favour of a man who was found to be drunk-driving due to a governance discrepancy of how his ticket was issued.
In the existing Road Traffic legislation breathalyser tickets are to be issued in both English and Irish languages. However, the ticket in question was dispensed short of the Irish version – highlighting a major ambiguity in administering the legislation which could potentially affect thousands of previous prosecutions.
Our Director of Consumer Affairs, Conor Faughnan featured on Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show yesterday and expressed his views on the matter:
“This has happened before. You may remember earlier this year where certain soft drugs were decriminalised in Ireland for a period of 24 hours because of a legislative flaw – I hope that is all this is. Because it would be an absolute triumph of the law over justice if this nonsense was allowed to stand.”
In response to this, the Department of Transport Minister, Paschal Donoghue has signed for an emergency law in an effort to close this loophole which now provides for breathalyser tests to be presented in either English or Irish languages.
In a statement released today, Minister Donohue said:
“The advice of the attorney general’s office was sought in respect of the need for amending legislation on foot of the judgement in relation to the language of the forms produced by evidential breath testing machines in Garda [police] stations.
“In the interests of road safety, I have moved immediately to provide the new legislation deemed necessary regarding the form of the statements to be provided under section 13 of the Road Traffic Act 2010.”
Click here to listen to Conor’s full interview on The Pat Kenny Show where he also discussed the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal and windscreen discs.