Skip Page Header

Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 265 - Garda reports [29512/17] [Breath tests].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 265 - Garda reports [29512/17] [Breath tests]. (27 Jun 2017)

External website:

240. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when An Garda Síochána will complete its report on the inflated breath test figures; when this report will be debated in Dáil Éireann; if he has given a deadline for the submission of this report to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29512/17]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that An Garda Síochána has confirmed that it has put solutions in place to deal with the procedural and practice issues that have been detected to ensure that the errors that have been identified in relation to breath tests/Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MATs) do not recur. An Garda Síochána has installed a new specific data recording IT upgrade on the Garda PULSE system, which requires personnel to record the serial number of the device used for each breath test plus the meter reading before and after the checkpoint was concluded. Data from the device are now used to verify the total number of breath tests conducted at each checkpoint.


The Deputy will also be aware that in addition to outlining the breath test discrepancies, how they came to light, and the remedial steps taken so far, the Commissioner announced the creation of a dedicated team under Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan to investigate in detail the MATs issue, including with a view to identifying and holding responsible for their actions any Garda members, whether at junior, supervisory or management level, who acted improperly, and committed to forwarding the report of this investigation to the Policing Authority and my Department, when completed. An interim report was forwarded by An Garda Síochána to the Policing Authority in advance of the Authority's recent public meeting on roads policing, which took place on 27 April 2017 and there is ongoing engagement between An Garda Síochána and the Policing Authority in relation to this matter. A second interim report was received in my Department this afternoon (27 June) from An Garda Síochána and it is currently being considered by my Department.


The Deputy will be aware that the Tánaiste, in her previous role as Minister for Justice and Equality, wrote to the Chairperson of the Policing Authority in accordance with section 62O(6) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 (as amended) requesting that the Authority report on its oversight of the issues which have arisen in relation to mandatory alcohol testing. This report is to include an examination of all aspects of the matter, addressing to the extent possible the reasons why issues have arisen, the incidence and scale of the issues and the solutions implemented to ensure there is no recurrence. I understand that there is ongoing dialogue between An Garda Síochána and the Policing Authority in relation to the preparation of their respective reports into this issue. The Deputy will appreciate that the ongoing Garda investigation into these matters will no doubt be considered by the Authority in the context of the report it is preparing and that it is right that I await the conclusion of the Authority's work in this area before commenting in more detail on this matter.

Repository Staff Only: item control page