Judge dismisses 21 cases of failure to present driving license to court

Oisín Clarke

A District Court judge has dismissed 21 cases relating to failure to produce a driving license in court because the defendants had not been directed to present their licenses, The Irish Times reports.

Junior counsel Oisín Clarke told Dublin District Court that the defendants “brought their licenses to court but were not directed to present it”.

He added: “The summons provided says the person must bring the license to court with them. It doesn’t indicate that the person must produce the license to the court.

“It appears in respect of section 22 that the court needs to make a formal demand in respect of at least a copy of it. If that hasn’t been done, obviously the person is going to walk out of court with their license.

“The lay person has to bring the license to court but my submission is that in the absence of the court telling them to present it, it is simply unfair for that person to be subsequently penalised because they haven’t been asked for the license.”

Liz Byrne, prosecuting solicitor, accepted that the summons does not mention the offence.

Judge Marie Keane, who noted that the legislation was “complex”, agreed to dismiss the cases because of the significant penalty for the charge.

She added: “While I haven’t heard any evidence from any individual that they weren’t asked, I will rule on the balance of probabilities that it was not clear to them that they were to produce their licenses when they were before the court.”

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