Drink Driving Cases Thrown Out of Court.

Updated: May 11



Drink driving cases are hard to win, they are.

Let’s make that clear from the start.

Years of training have made most Guards quite familiar with drink driving procedures.

They know what's required of them and -more importantly- what the court requires of them.

When you’re the defendant against 2-3 members of An Garda Siochana in court, it can be intimidating.


Latest statistics in Ireland suggest that about 66% of all people arrested for drink driving are convicted.
That means about 34% are not.

In the United Kingdom approximately 95% of people arrested for drink driving are convicted.

That’s almost a 100% conviction rate.

Conviction rates of this type among democracies are only matched by the Japanese criminal justice system which has a 'modest' conviction rate of 99% (The Economist, 6 December 2018).


Latest statistics in Ireland suggest that about 66% of all people arrested for drink driving are convicted.

That means about 34% are not.

Every one of that lucky 34% were over the limit, some many times over.

They have succeeded for any one of a number of reasons e.g. a vital witness has not turned up in court or a vital piece of evidence has not been brought to court.

Maybe the prosecution evidence created a doubt in the Judge’s mind, or the defence evidence was stronger.

Any one of these reasons can be enough for a Judge be strike the case out.

But just because one of these issues are present doesn’t mean that the case will be struck out.

Its entirely up to the Judge’s discretion.

Encouraging the Judge to exercise their discretion requires hard work but it can be done.

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