DPP v O'Connor

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeHenchy J.
Judgment Date01 January 1985
Neutral Citation1983 WJSC-SC 1977
Docket NumberNo. 557 SS./1983
Date01 January 1985

1983 WJSC-SC 1977

THE SUPREME COURT

Henchy J.

Griffin J.

Hederman J.

No. 557 SS./1983
No. 329/1983
D.P.P. v. O'CONNOR
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICPROSECUTIONS
v.
BRENDAN O'CONNOR
1

Judgment of Henchy J.delivered the 23rd October 1984 [NEM DISS]

2

The defendant was acquitted in the District Court of a charge of having driven a bus on the public road when the concentration of alcohol in his blood exceeded the permitted amount, in breach of s. 49(2) of the Road Traffic Act, 1961. The D.P.P. appealed that decision by case stated to the High Court. The appeal was unsuccessful. It was held that the District Justice was correct in dismissing the charge at the end of the case for the prosecution. The D.P.P. now appeals that decision to this Court.

3

The relevant facts are set out in the case stated. They show that the defendant was driving a bus from Newbridge, Co. Kildare, to Dublin via Naas on the 10 December 1982. It was a one-man or driver-operated bus. A woman who got on the bus at Newbridge gave evidence that there was something wrong with the defendant, for hegot into an altercation with a passenger who had got on ahead of her, he failed to give her any change when she paid for her ticket, and the tickets he was giving out were dated the day before. As the bus approached a stop on the road out of Newbridge towards Naas, it mounted the footpath and knocked down a girl who was standing on the footpath. She was badly bruised as a result of the collision. The bus did not stop when the collision took place, but continued slowly until someone outside the bus told the driver that he had knocked down someone. It was only then that the defendant stopped the bus and got out to see the injured girl.

4

A short time after that, Garda Flynn, who was on duty in a patrol car, saw the bus turning off the dual carriageway into Kill. It swung very wide as it turned in and swerved twice. When the bus stopped, the patrol car pulled in ahead of it. Garda Flynn to the defendant and got him to stand down. There was a smell of alcohol from his breath and his speech was slurred. He said that it was halt an hour since his last drink. Garda Flynn gave him an alcolyser test. It gave a positive reading. Garda Flynn then told the defendant that he was arresting him under s. 49(6) of the the 1961 Act for offences under s. 49(2) and s.49 (3). Hecautioned the defendant and took him in a patrol car to Naas Gardastation.

5

In Naas Garda station the defendant gave a blood sample which, when analysed by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, gave a blood/alcohol reading of 237 - the permitted maximum being 100. The defendant was therefore charged in the District Court with an offence under s. 49(2), i.e. for driving a bus on the public road when the quantity of alcohol in his blood was such...

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13 cases
  • DPP v Mooney
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1993
    ...[1946] K.B. 124 (C.A.). Director of Public Prosecutions v. Gilmore [1981] I.L.R.M. 102. Director of Public Prosecutions v. O'Connor [1985] I.L.R.M. 333. Hobbs v. Hurley (Unreported, High Court, Costello J., 10th June, 1980). The People v. Walsh [1980] I.R. 294. Criminal law - Road traffic o......
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