A representative from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, which analyses drunk driving samples, has been summoned to a sitting of Tuam District Court over an unprecedented case that came for hearing.
A motorist failed a roadside breath test as he had gargled mouthwash, did not have any alcohol in his system but a subsequent test revealed traces of an opiate class drug and cannabinoids.
However, the defendant told Tuam Court that he was on tablets for back pain and his solicitor Danny McGrath produced a doctor’s prescription to the court to this effect.
Judge James Faughnan adjourned the case to determine the nature of the drugs and requested a member of the Medical Bureau to explain the contents of the sample before the court.
Mr McGrath informed the court that he was told by the Medical Bureau that his client would have to cover the cost of a representative appearing to give evidence – this is estimated to be in the region of €1,000.
The solicitor said that his client was not in a position to do this but Judge Faughnan said that it was up to the State to prove their case and he believed that the costs of a representative from the Medical Bureau appearing was not a matter for the defendant.
He then issued a summons for a Medical Bureau representative to attend court on September 9 next. Judge Faughnan said that if one did not appear, he would issue a bench warrant for their arrest.
A previous sitting of Tuam Court heard how Jarlath Crisham from 43 Athenry Road, Tuam was stopped at a checkpoint near Milltown by Garda Paul Crowe who required him to provide a roadside breath test.
He failed a breath sample as the court was told that he had earlier gargled mouthwash.
He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and taken to Tuam Garda Station where he provided a urine sample to a nurse who was called to administer this process.
The sample was sent off for analysis and it showed that there was no alcohol reading but four months later a report came back from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety indicating that there were traces of an opiate class drug and cannabinoids.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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