Author Topic: This will really work...NOT!  (Read 1114 times)

mankie

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This will really work...NOT!
« on: May 30, 2003, 01:18:00 pm »
For those who don't know....Gardai = Police.
 
 Legal doubt over draft law against drunks entering pubs
 
 By Cormac O'Keeffe
 PLANS to fine people for being drunk as they try to enter pubs may not work,
 a legal expert warned yesterday.
 
 
 Under the draft legislation of the Intoxicating Liquor Bill, published by
 Justice Minister Michael McDowell, it will be an offence for someone who is
 drunk to seek entry into a bar. Those found guilty can be fined ?300.
 
 However, there is no provision in the bill for gardaí to take samples from
 people suspected of being drunk, said Tom O'Malley, a senior law lecturer in
 NUI Galway.
 
 He said the lack of specific powers to do this would hamper the ability of
 gardaí to take cases in the courts.
 
 "There is no provision for taking a sample in the bill. There needs to be a
 specific statutory power to do that. Without such a sample, say a breath
 test, how is it going to be proved in the court?"
 
 Mr O'Malley said the court would have to rely on garda evidence.
 
 "Drunkenness is a transient state. Who is going to make the assessment on
 the spot? It leaves an extraordinary level of discretion on gardaí whether
 to bring a prosecution or not."
 
 Mr O'Malley said this was quite a strong new provision in the law.
 
 "It does seem a fairly swingeing power. It is putting an onus on the
 individual to avoid drunkenness and to avoid going into a bar if drunk."
 
 Ivana Bacik, Professor of Criminal Law in Trinity College Dublin, said she
 was concerned at this new power.
 
 "I would think it would have to be amended at the very least, to include
 some proviso, or defence, that the person was without a reasonable excuse to
 seek entry.
 
 "The bill would have to be changed to moderate its effect, otherwise you
 could see injustice being caused."
 
 She also said the definition of drunkenness in the bill was vague.
 
 A Department of Justice spokesman said there was no need for provisions to
 enable gardaí to take samples.
 
 He said gardaí could, under the Public Order Act 1994, prosecute people for
 intoxication in a public place without requiring samples.
 
 But Ms Bacik said this power had some conditions attached.
 
 "Gardaí have to show the courts that the person was a danger to himself or
 others. There's some control on the power. This seems to go further."

not too shabby

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Re: This will really work...NOT!
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2003, 04:35:00 pm »
Oh, that's ridiculous.  I got really drunk over there with several 'gardai' and entered various bars.  It's a silly law.  Down with silly laws!