D.P.P. -v- Molloy, [2003] IESC 17 (2003)

Docket Number:34/00
Party Name:D.P.P., Molloy
Judge:McCracken J.


McGuinness J.

Geoghegan J.

McCracken J.In the matter of Section 2 of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1857

And in the matter of Section 51 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961



(at the suit of Garda Donnacha Riordan) Appellantand

ALAN MOLLOY RespondentJUDGMENT delivered on the 28th day of February, 2003 by McCracken J.

This was an appeal by way of case stated by Judge John P. Brophy arising out of the prosecution of the respondent for certain offences under Section 13 of the Road Traffic Act, 1994.

The net point at issue is whether the respondent was lawfully arrested. The background to the case is clearly and helpfully set out in the case stated and it is not necessary to repeat the entire of it in this judgment. Briefly, the prosecuting Garda was on duty as an observer in a patrol car at a checkpoint near Clonee, Co. Meath. A car approached the checkpoint, stopped about a hundred meters from it, turned, and headed back towards Clonee. The Gardai pursued this car, which drove into a gateway of a house in Clonee. The Gardai followed the car into the driveway and found the respondent on his own in the car. He was asked for his name and address, which he gave, and then told the Gardai that, "it was his house that he was parked in front of". His speech was incoherent and slurred and there was a smell of alcohol off his breath, and he was asked to step out of the car. When he did so, he stumbled, and had to be supported by one of the Garda. At this stage the prosecuting Garda formed the opinion that the respondent was incapable of having control of a vehicle, due to consumption of intoxicating liquor, and told the respondent that he was of the opinion that the respondent had committed an offence under one of several sections of the Road Traffic Acts and explained to the respondent that he was arresting him for drunk driving.

The Garda then cautioned the respondent in the normal way and in response, the respondent told the Garda that he the Garda could not arrest him, as the arrest was an unlawful arrest since the Garda had followed him into his driveway. The respondent became abusive, had to be handcuffed, and was taken to Dunboyne Garda Station. The respondent refused to give a blood or urine sample and was charged with an offence under Section 13(3) of the Road Traffic Act, 1994. This charge was dismissed in the District Court on the grounds that the arrest of the...

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