Man had coins in mouth to hinder his breath test
A DELIVERY driver who was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving placed two coins in his mouth in what gardai believe was a bid to interfere with the breath test.
Moses Luke (40), of Baron’s Hall Lodge, Balbriggan, was found guilty of drink-driving after he contested the case because he believed the garda’s opinion was not properly formed.
He had been drink-driving and contested it on being handcuffed without evidence he was aggressive or going to run away.
Judge Patricia McNamara found in favour of the garda’s evidence at Swords District Court and said Garda Kelly had “good cause to stop and arrest the defendant and handcuff him”.
She convicted and fined Luke, who has eight previous convictions, €300 and imposed a one-year disqualification.
Gda Kelly said he observed Luke driving a Volkswagen Passat on Dublin Street in Balbriggan in the early hours of the morning. The car was being driven at “crawling pace” and stopped in the middle of the street.
He said he spoke to Luke who had bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet when he exited the car to retrieve his driving licence which he said was in the car boot.
“He was slightly aggressive and I placed handcuffs on him for my own safety,” said Gda Kelly. He said he noticed Luke appeared to be chewing on something.
“I had to forcibly remove whatever was in his mouth and removed two coins,” said Gda Kelly. He said Luke gave a breath sample of 38mg/100ml. The legal drink driving limit is 22mg/100ml breath.
“I have never come across someone with coins in their mouth before when arrested for drink-driving,” said Gda Kelly.
“I believe he did this to interfere with the breath test.”