DPP v Mooney

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
Judgment Date01 January 1993
Date01 January 1993
Docket Number[1992 No. 164 SS]

High Court

[1992 No. 164 SS]
Director of Public Prosecutions v. Mooney
Director of Public Prosecutions
Appellant
and
Brian Mooney
Respondent

Cases mentioned in this report:—

Christie v. Leachinsky [1947] A.C. 573; [1947] 1 All E.R. 567 (H.L); [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 offence - Arrest - Suspicion - Reason - Reason actually furnished - Requirements - Police - Drunken driving - Breathalyser - Suspect told he was being"arrested for drunken driving" - Whether valid for s. 49, sub-s. 3 offence - Road Traffic Act, 1961 (No. 24), s. 49 - Road Traffic Act, 1968 (No. 19), s. 10.

Case stated.

The facts are set out in the judgment of Blayney J., post.

A summons alleging that the respondent had committed an offence under s. 49 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, as amended, was dismissed against the respondent in the Dublin Metropolitan District Court. The Director of Public Prosecutions, being dissatisfied with the determination in the District Court, applied for an appeal by way of case stated under s. 2 of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1857 and s. 51 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961. The case stated was signed by Judge Roche a judge of the District Court assigned to the Dublin Metropolitan District.

Section 49, sub-ss. 1,2,3 and 6 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, as amended by s. 10 of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act, 1978, provide as follows:—

"1. (a) A person shall not drive or attempt to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while he is under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle.

  • (b) In this subsection 'intoxicant' includes alcohol and drugs and any combination of drugs or of drugs and alcohol.

2. A person shall not drive or attempt to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while there is present in his body a quantity of alcohol such that, within three hours after so driving or attempting to drive, the concentration on alcohol in his blood will exceed a concentration of 100 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

3. A person shall not drive or attempt to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while there is present in his body a quantity of alcohol such that, within three hours after so driving or attempting to drive, the concentration on alcohol in his urine will exceed a concentration of 135 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

6. A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest without warrant a person who in the member's opinion is committing or has committed an offence under this section.

A Garda's arrest without warrant under s. 49, sub-s. 6 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, as amended, on his suspicion of the suspect committing or having committed an offence under sub-ss. 2 or 3 of the same section is not invalidated where the reason given was that he was being arrested "for drunken driving."

So held by Blayney J.

The People v. Walsh [1980] I.R. 294 and Christie v. Leachinsky[1974] A.C. 573applied.

Per curiam: Since the person arrested does not need to be informed of the reason for his arrest if the circumstances are such that he must know the general nature of the alleged offence for which he is detained, it is doubtful if an arrest is invalid where no reason is given but where the suspect had blown into a breathalyser and the...

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16 cases
  • DPP v Wilson
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 27 November 2014
    ......In addition, reference should also be made to a number of High Court decisions, all of which also applied Christie , as such cases also touch on the more pertinent aspect of the first issue in the instant case. The first of these is DPP v. Mooney [1992] 1 I.R. 548 (? Mooney ?), in which Blayney J. was satisfied that a valid arrest could be effected for the purposes of a section 49 offence under the Road Traffic Act 1961, as amended, by the arresting gardaí informing the suspect that he was being so arrested for ?drunken driving?, ......
  • DPP v BA
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 10 May 2016
    ...CJ in The People (DPP) v Walsh [1980] IR 294 at 306-308, with which Kenny J agreed, and again in many cases of which DPP v Mooney [1992] 1 IR 548 is but an instance. As was stated in Christie v Leachinsky, ?technical or precise language need not be used.? Instead, the requirement: ? is a ......
  • DPP v McCormack
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 2000
    ...S49(2) ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1994 S10 ROAD TRAFFIC ACTS 1961–1995 S12 ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961 S49(8) ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961 S49(3) DPP V MOONEY 1992 1 IR 548 BRENNAN V DPP UNREP SUPREME 1.11.1995 1995/15/4001 DPP V CONNELL UNREP CCA 16.10.1997 1998/4/834 CHRISTIE V LEACHINSKY 1947 AC 573 DPP, PEOPL......
  • Mulligan v DPP (Garda Ryan)
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 29 October 2008
    ...1999/7/1721 BATES v BRADY & DPP 2003 4 IR 111 CHRISTIE & ANOR v LEACHINSKY 1947 AC 573 PEOPLE, DPP v WALSH 1980 IR 294 DPP v MOONEY 1992 1 IR 548 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1964 S4 Abstract: Criminal law - Appeal by way of case stated - Public order offences - S. 24 (2) and (3) of the Criminal......
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