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Man refused breath test because of medication fear, court told

Worcester Editorial 13th May, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A MAN who collided with another vehicle refused to be breathalysed because he believed medication he was taking would distort the reading, a court has heard.

Russell Phillips, of Vincent Road was driving his black Vauxhall Corsa down Rainbow Hill when a collision occurred at the mini roundabout between him and a Ford Focus on March 13.

Police were called to the incident and spoke to the driver of the Ford who said he was struck by the defendant, Worcester Magistrates Court heard last Friday (May 5).

Officers went over to the 33-year-old and noticed his words were slurred and eyes were glazed, so asked him to do a breathalyser which he refused.

Phillips, a full-time student in computer networks, was warned about not giving a specimen of breath but again refused so was taken back to the station.

The court also heard how Phillips had been at the pub from 3pm to 9.30pm watching the football and had drunk four pints of Carlsberg with his meal.

He pleaded guilty to failure to provide a specimen for analysis and was handed a 16-month disqualification from driving.

Chris Hilton, defending solicitor, said: “He had a proper meal at the pub and says he left feeling fine and didn’t believe he was over the limit. Clearly that was a mistake on his behalf.

“He doesn’t recall being asked at the road side to provide a specimen but fully accepts once asked at the police station to do so, he refused.

“The reason for his refusal was the medication he was taking would provide a distorted reading on the machine. He invited the officers to provide a specimen of blood for those reasons but that was refused.”

Phillips was fined £200 for the offence and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

District Judge Nigel Cadbury added: “The real problem here is when someone does refuse the court is not aware of the level of alcohol in your system.

“What I have to look at is the reported level of intoxication and that’s from the police officer who said you had slurred speech and glazed eyes.”

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