By KEVIN HUGHES
Wednesday January 13 2010
KERRY drivers charged with drink driving can still be saved by the steam of their pee after challenge to a controversial district court decision failed in the High Court.
Mr Justice O'Neill struck out a State appeal concerning two drink driving cases heard in Killorglin District Court on November 13, 2008. Those cases had been thrown out by Judge James O'Connor who had ruled that steam inhaled from urine during a recommended 20 minute observation period may have adversely affected an intoxyliser reading.
The High Court appeal was struck out after Counsel for the State accepted that it could not present proof that the High Court had jurisdiction to deal with the appeals. The State now has no means of further appeal to the Supreme Court.
Defended by Killarney solicitor Pádraig O'Connell, the cases will have a knock-on effect on several similar cases currently pending in Kerry's district courts. It will also affect future procedure in district court area 17 with Judge O'Connor previously indicating that the High Court decision would become common policy.
- KEVIN HUGHES