DPP v O'Donoghue

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date15 February 1991
Date15 February 1991
Docket Number[1991 No. 27(a) S.S.]
CourtHigh Court

High Court

[1991 No. 27(a) S.S.]
Director of Public Prosecutions v. O'Donoghue
Director of Public Prosecutions
Complainant
and
Eamon
O'Donoghue
Defendant

Case mentioned in this report:—

Martin v. Quinn [1980] I.R. 244.

Criminal law - Road traffic - Evidence - Witness - Specialist qualifications - Proof - Medical practitioner - Testimony of witness that he was registered medical practitioner - Whether witness required to establish that he was registered medical practitioner a material time - Road Traffic (Amendment) Act, 1978 (No. 19), s. 13, sub-s. 3.

Case Stated.

The facts have been summarised in the headnote and appear in the judgment of O'Hanlon J., post.

On the 15th June, 1990, a charge against the defendant of failure to permit a designated registered medical practitioner to take from him a specimen of his blood or, at the option of the defendant, to provide for a designated registered medical practitioner a specimen of his urine, contrary to s. 13, sub-s. 3 of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act, 1978, was dismissed by the Dublin Metropolitan District Court. The complainant's appeal, by way of case stated dated the 9th January, 1991, was heard by the High Court (O'Hanlon J.) on the 11th February, 1991.

The defendant was charged with failing to permit a designated registered medical practitioner to take from him a specimen of his blood or, at the option of the defendant, to provide for a designated registered medical practitioner a specimen of his urine, contrary to s. 13, sub-s. 3 of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act, 1978. At the hearing in the District Court evidence was given that a certain witness had been introduced to the defendant in a garda station as "the designated registered medical practitioner". This witness was asked by counsel for the prosecution: "I think you are a registered medical practitioner?", to which he replied: "I am". He was then asked: "Were you designated by the gardaí on the night in question?" and replied: "I was".

The District Justice held that it had not been proven that the witness in question was, at the time when he attended at the garda station, a registered medical practitioner; all that had been established was that he had been introduced as such by the sergeant in charge and that, when the matter came before the District Court, he was at that time a registered medical practitioner. The District Justice accordingly dismissed the case. On the complainant's appeal by way of case stated against the...

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4 cases
  • Stokes v O'Donnell
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