DPP v O'Brien

Judgment Date11 May 1989
Date11 May 1989
Docket Number[S.C. No. 33 of 1988]
CourtSupreme Court
Director of Public Prosecutions v. O'Brien
Director of Public Prosecutions
Maria O'Brien, Defendant
[S.C. No. 33 of 1988]

Supreme Court

Road Traffic Acts - Offence - Particulars of conviction of certain offences to be endorsed on driving licence - Whether conviction of offence under s. 52 of Road Traffic Act, 1961, led to mandatory endorsement - Road Traffic Act, 1961 (No. 24), s. 36, sub-s. 1, s. 52, Second Schedule, para. 5B - Road Traffic Act, 1968 (No. 25), s. 6.

The Second Schedule of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, lists those offences under the Act which involve the making by a court of a disqualification order consequent upon conviction. Section 36, sub-s. 1 of the Act, as amended by s. 6 of the Road Traffic Act, 1968, provides, inter alia, that where a person is convicted of an offence which would be an offence such as is specified in paras. 1, 2, 3, 5, 5A, 5B, 6(b), 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 of the Second Schedule if it were a second or any subsequent offence within any period of three years, the court shall by order direct particulars of the conviction to be endorsed on the driving licence held by such person. The offence specified in para. 5B of the Second Schedule is "an offence under s. 52 [driving without due care and attention] where the contravention involves the driving of a mechanically propelled vehicle, being a third or any subsequent offence within any period of three years."

The defendant was convicted in the District Court of driving without due care and attention, contrary to s. 52 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, as amended. The defendant had no previous convictions under s. 52 in the three years prior to this conviction. The court directed that particulars of the offence be endorsed on her driving licence. When the defendant appealed to the Circuit Court against the order of endorsement, the Circuit Court judge stated a case for the opinion of the Supreme Court as to whether it was mandatory for him pursuant to the provisions of s. 36, sub-s. 1 of the Act of 1961 as amended, to direct that particulars of the offence be endorsed on her licence.

Held by the Supreme Court (Finlay C.J., Walsh, Griffin, Hederman and McCarthy JJ.) in answering the case stated, that on a construction of s. 52 of the Act of 1961 a conviction of an offence under that section led to a mandatory endorsement of the particulars of the offence on the defendant's driving licence.

Cases mentioned in this report:—

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  • DPP v Peter O'Dwyer
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 28 July 2005
    ...L.O'S. ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961 S53(1) ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961 S52(1) ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961 S27 ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961 S36(1) DPP v O'BRIEN 1989 IR 266 R v KRAWEC 1984 6 CR APP R (S) 367 R v MACCAIG 1986 8 CR APP R (S)77 R v SIMMONDS 1999 RTR 257 ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1998 S3 (UK) ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 19......

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