LEGAL history was made at Kilkenny Courthouse this week when a criminal prosecution was dramatically dismissed on the grounds that a scooter being ridden by a drink driving suspect was a ‘mechanically assisted’ and not ‘mechanically propelled’ vehicle.
Respected District Court Judge, William Harnett, held that the vehicle in question, which has the appearance of a scooter but has pedals, was ‘mechanically assisted’ and not propelled and that no offence had been committed. The defendant had been charged with driving a mechanically propelled vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Solicitor Michael Lanigan successfully argued that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that the vehicle in question was not covered under the legislation and that therefore no offence had been committed.
Jodie O’Dwyer, with an address in Larchfield in the city was charged with drink driving at Hawthorn Avenue, Loughboy on July 5, 2010 and appeared to answer the charge on Monday.
A garda witness told the court that at 4.48pm on the date he observed a male driving on a scooter on the Waterford Road. The male, who was wearing no helmet was in the bicycle lane turned onto Nunico Road and then onto Hawthorn Ave in Larchfield and according to a garda witness was ‘driving a bicycle’ at the time. The garda, who was in an unmarked patrol car told the court that the defendant was ‘leaning from side to side’ on the bicycle.
“I activated the blue lights and sirens and when the defendant got off the bike I noticed that there was no registration number on it,” he said.
For more see the Kilkenny People print edition