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Shhh...drink-drive suspect totally blanks police

Officers given the silent treatment - but driving ban results

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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A SUSPECTED drink-driver, confronted with a roadside breath test, indignantly told police: “I’m not blowing into that thing.”

Those were the last words officers heard from the lips of Mark David French, Newbury magistrates heard.

Helen Waite, prosecuting on Thursday, March 17, said: “Thereafter there was no reply – just complete silence.”

She said police spotted the 53-year-old, of St Johns Road, Thatcham, driving in Newbury just before midnight and added: “As he approached a junction he stopped way before he had to – about 10ft from the line – and that drew officers’ attention to him.

“They tried to pull him over but he continued for a short time before stopping. He smelled of alcohol, he was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Police formed the opinion he was the worse for drink. He said: ‘I’m not blowing into that thing’ and wouldn’t give his details. He was thoroughly unco-operative and wouldn’t engage with the officers, or the process, at all.

“He refused to answer any and all questions.”

Mr French admitted failoing to provide a specimen for analysis when required to do so on February 22.

He has no previous convictions and Andrew Port, defending, said: “He is almost at a loss to explain his actions ecept to say he just didn’t want to ‘play ball’ that night.

“But his staying silent isn’t an aggravating feature, it’s the offence itself. There are no aggravating features at all.”

Magistrates made Mr French, described as a maintenance man, subject to an 18 month driving ban.

In addition they fined him £200 and ordered him to pay £85 costs with a £20 victim surcharge.

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