breathalyserA woman who refused to give a breath specimen after being arrested by Gardaí on suspicion of drink-driving has been disqualified from driving for four years.

Kathleen Harkin, 47, with an address of 4 Radharc Na Mara, Downings, was arrested outside the premises of ‘The Lagoon Bar’ Termon in the early hours of November 9, 2013.

Gardaí saw the defendant get into her Mercedez-Benz and drive across the car park without any lights on.

When they investigated further and stopped the car, Garda Kelly noticed that the defendant was slurring her speech and that there was a strong smell of alcohol from her breath.

Garda Kelly then asked Mrs Harkin to get out of the car, however, when she got out of the car she staggered and couldn’t stand upright. Gardaí arrested her on suspicion of drink-driving.

They brought her to Milford Gardaí Station, but there Mrs Harkin refused to co-operate with Gardaí and give a breath specimen.

The court heard how Mrs Harkin had met her friend at The Lagoon Bar for a meal earlier in the evening after she had finished work, but had then stayed on for a number of drinks.

Mrs Harkin later claimed she was only moving the car to a safer part of the car park and had already called a taxi to pick her up.

She became so incensed at being arrested that she refused to give a breath specimen to Gardaí at Milford Garda Station following her arrest.

The mother-of-three is currently unemployed, but the court was told she has a strong work ethic and had raised her family on her own.

In his summary Judge Denis McLaughlin said: “I’m taking into account Mrs Harkin’s early guilty plea, and the fact she has no previous convictions of note bar one minor traffic offence.

“However, her failure to provide a breath specimen to Gardaí and co-operate with them complicated the matter, and I must disqualify Mrs Harkin from driving for four years.”

Judge McLaughlin also fined Mrs Harkin €300 and gave her four months to pay the fine.

Her disqualification from driving will commence on January 1.

 


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