Driver claimed he could not blow hard enough for breathalyzer test after being 'punched in the face several times'

A dad faces an eight-hour round-trip to work after being banned from the roads for refusing to provide a sample when stopped on suspicion of drink-driving.

Sunday, 30th August 2020, 6:00 am
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

David Maddison, 39, of Cumbrian Way, Peterlee, told a court he already spent two-and-a-half hours getting to his job on public transport when called to the office, due to receiving an interim ban in February.

He claimed that would be extended by 90 minutes if his employer relocated, which was being considered.

Magistrates in South Tyneside told him they had no legal option but to ban him - and said he had been bringer of his own misfortune.

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They disqualified him for a total of 17 months after hearing he had deliberately failed to co-operate with police.

Prosecutor Grace Taylor said: “Officers had cause to stop a vehicle after reports it was being driven in a dangerous manner.

“He was detained and was suspected of driving while intoxicated. His speech was slurred and his eyes were glazed.

“Officers tried to get the defendant to do a CAMIC test, which required him to give two samples.

“The defendant had an obstructive manner during the proceedings and no sample was given.

“The officer gave him numerous opportunities. The defendant was intentionally blowing incorrectly into the machine. It was a deliberate refusal.”

Maddison, who defended himself in court, denied it had been a deliberate act.

He said: “I told the police officer previously I’d been punched in the face several times, and I tried to give a breath sample.

“I blew and I blew as much as I could, but he said it wasn’t long enough.”

He added: “It is two-and-a-half hours to my work, and they are talking about moving which will add another hour-and-a-half. I’ll have to travel four hours just to get to work.”

Maddison pleaded guilty to failing to provide at a hearing on February 4 and was handed an interim ban.

Margaret Burns, chair of the bench, said: “We’ve no choice but to disqualify you.

“We appreciate the journey you will have, but this is a situation you got yourself into.”

Maddison was also given a 12-month community order with a requirement of 10 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service and 100 hours of unpaid work.

He must pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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