Drink driving: garda altered record

A GARDA has been dismissed for altering a record book at a south?Dublin station, to state that a man who failed a breathalyser test had passed. The man escaped a drink-driving charge as a result.

The garda stopped a motorist almost a year ago and he failed a roadside breathalyser test. The individual was then taken to the station and again failed the breathalyser test. He was then charged with drink-driving and released, as is normal procedure.

The drink driver should then have received a summons within six months instructing him to present himself in court to face the charge. However, the garda forgot to issue the summons within the six-month time period.

When he realised his mistake, the garda – who had been sworn in less than a year previously – altered the record book in the station to state that the individual in question had passed the test, not failed.

He took this course of action rather than admit his error and face minor consequences. However, the garda's superiors noticed that the record book had been "doctored" and the garda was suspended while the matter was investigated. That investigation has recently concluded and the garda – who was still on probation as he was less than a year sworn into the force – has been sacked.

A source said that the garda was well-regarded during his short career and he had made a stupid mistake based on bad advice from a colleague.

"A colleague advised him to alter the record book instead of taking responsibility for his mistake. Unfortunately, he followed that advice and has now paid the price for that. The unfortunate thing is, he was a very good, hard-working garda aside from this incident and could have had a great career ahead of him and been a credit to the force."