Updated: 02/11/17 : 05:10:46
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Local breath test errors above area average

GARDA BREATH test stats in Sligo Leitrim were overstated by 76% in an eight year period.

The Policing Authority published the details of a new nationwide specialist study yesterday, Wednesday

The Sligo Leitrim figure is higher than the Gardai’s regional average for overstated stats, the study confirms. See figures breakdown below.

The latest study was carried out by Crowe Horwath for the Policing Authority.

Pulse Overshoot

It found 42,913 tests had been carried out by Gardai in the Sligo Leitrim Division using the Drager kit over an eight year period under scrutiny.

But the Gardai Pulse system for the same period — June 2009 to April 2017 — put the figure at 75,495 in this area. 

The new study quantified the overstated stat in Sligo Leitrim at 32,583 — an overshoot of 76%.

The Sligo Leitrim figure was, the study showed, overstated by two percent compared with combined other counties in the Gardai’s Northern region.

The Sligo overshoot was higher too, in percentage terms, than its neighbours in Donegal and Cavan Monaghan.

Not Exclusive

The study has flagged up that the Drager kit used by Gardai for breath testing of motorists is not used exclusive for that purpose.

Overall the Crowe Horwath study blamed the stats overshoot on Gardai at all levels.

Policing Authority Chair, Josephine Feehily, wants the Acting Garda Commissioner to outline a plan of action later this month to address issues in the new study.

Ms Feehily is interested in what action he plans to take against individual Garda members over the falsification of figures.

Specifically, she said particular focus should be placed on chief superintendents in 14 Garda divisions who declined to investigate the inflated figures in their areas despite a request from Garda management.

While accepting widespread disciplinary action is unlikely and unworkable, Ms Feehily stressed action should be taken where there is prima-facie evidence of wrongdoing.