04 Oct 2022

Woman found slouched over in her car with empty bottle of wine

Carrick-on-Shannon District Court hears motorcyclist cleared of careless driving  “very lucky to be with us”

Carrick-on-Shannon courthouse

A woman who was found slouched on the passenger seat with an empty bottle of wine had a charge of being drunk in charge of a vehicle dismissed when she appeared in Carrick-on-Shannon District Court.

Natasha McNally, aged 44, from Lismoy, Newtownforbes, Co Longford appeared, charged with the offence on October 22, 2018 at Liseeghan, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim.

Garda Gavin Burke said that on that date he received a report from the station that a vehicle was parked on the hard shoulder of the Dublin Road at Liseeghan.

He went to the scene and spoke to the driver, Natasha McNally. He saw that she was slouched onto the passenger seat with a bottle of wine. Another wine bottle was outside the car and both bottles were empty.

He asked the defendant where she was going and she told him she was in Newtownforbes and was going home to her house which was just down the road.

Garda Burke noted she had slurred speech, glassy eyes and a smell of intoxicating liquor from her. He said the car was running, the keys were in the ignition and the lights were on.

Garda Burke formed his opinion that she was committing an offence and arrested and cautioned Ms McNally at 10.45pm and took her to Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station.

He contacted NowDoc to take a sample of blood or urine, however Det Garda Brian McMahon entered the office and said he was a trained operator of the Evidenzer machine and would take a sample of her breath. Garda Burke cancelled NowDoc.

At 12.05am Det Garda McMahon told him that it was not possible to take a sample of the defendant’s breath and NowDoc was contacted again.
At 12.41am the doctor arrived and took a sample of urine. At 1.10am the defendant was released from custody.

Solicitor for Ms McNally applied for a direction because he said there was no explanation in ordinary language as to why she was being arrested and no indication that she understood why she was being arrested.

Judge Denis McLoughlin said he also noted that point and dismissed the case.

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