Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence) Act, 1990

Inferences from refusal to consent to taking a sample.

3.—(1) Where a consent required under section 2 of this Act is refused without good cause, in any proceedings against a person for an offence—

(a) the court, in determining—

(i) whether to send forward that person for trial, or

(ii) whether there is a case to answer, and

(b) the court (or, subject to the judge's directions, the jury), in determining whether that person is guilty of the offence charged (or of any other offence of which he could lawfully be convicted on that charge),

may draw such inferences, if any, from the refusal as appear proper; and the refusal may, on the basis of such inferences, be treated as, or as being capable of amounting to, corroboration of any evidence in relation to which the refusal is material, but a person shall not be convicted of an offence solely on an inference drawn from such refusal.

(2) The reference in subsection (1) of this section to evidence shall, in relation to the preliminary examination of a charge, be taken to include a statement of the evidence to be given by a witness at the trial.

(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not have effect in relation to an accused unless he has been told in ordinary language by a member of the Garda Síochána when seeking his consent that the sample was required for the purpose of forensic testing, that his consent was necessary and, if his consent was not given, what the effect of a refusal by him of such consent could be.

(4) This section shall not apply—

(a) to a person who has not attained the age of 14 years, or

(b) in a case where an appropriate consent has been refused by a parent or guardian.