A MOTORIST who refused a breath test has been banned from driving.
Darren Paul Chambers was also given a choice – agree to unpaid work or go to prison.
The 33-year-old, formerly of Brimpton Road, Brimpton, and who now lives in Simmons Field, Thatcham, appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week.
Matthew Gauntlett, prosecuting, said members of the public called police after watching Mr Chambers drinking alcohol in The Swan pub in Station Road, Thatcham, before getting into a Volkswagen Golf and driving off.
But when officers asked Mr Chambers to provide a specimen of breath, he refused to do so.
Mr Chambers admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis on July 3.
He also has previous convictions for motoring offences, including one for drink-driving two years ago, the court heard.
Steve Molloy, defending, said his client had believed he was entitled to legal advice from a solicitor before complying with the breath test.
He added: “Unfortunately he was mistaken.”
A probation officer who interviewed Mr Chambers, a self-employed labourer, for a pre-sentence report, told the court that he was unwilling to undertake unpaid community work as part of his sentence because he worked all week and saw his child at weekends.
District Judge Davinder Lachhar gave him the choice of complying with an unpaid work requirement or being made subject to an immediate custodial sentence.
Mr Chambers chose the former.
He was made subject to a 12-month community order with 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 100 hours unpaid community work requirement.
In addition, he was ordered to pay £85 costs plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £85.
Finally, he was banned from driving for three years.