Motorist refused to do breathalyser twice in less than a month after being stopped by police

A motorist landed himself in court after refusing to take a breath test twice in a month when requested by police.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 3:19 pm

Michael Stainbank, 31, first came to police attention following reports of a man threatening to jump from Sunderland’s Spire Bridge on Saturday, December 14.

Further information suggested the same man was then driving a Nissan Qashqai, which they traced to Stainbank’s home, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

They found the vehicle parked on an angle across the curb, it’s engine still warm, with Stainbank in his living room, apparently under the influence of booze.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Michael Stainbank first came to police attention following reports of an incident on the Northern Spire bridge in Sunderland, South Tyneside Magistrates' Court was told.

Prosecutor Clare Irving said: “He is arrested and taken to the police station and is required to provide a sample of breath for analysis. He says he’s not bothered, and the Camic [breathalyser machine] timed out.

“He was interviewed with a legal representative present and gave no comment to every question put to him.”

Mrs Irving told magistrates Stainbank next failed to provide a sample after being pulled over by police in Sunderland city centre on suspicion of jumping a red light, shortly after 3am on Sunday, January 12.

She added: “Officers are aware that there’s a possible drink-driver. They stop the same car in Vine Place and the defendant is the person in the vehicle.

“He was arrested and suspected of driving while unfit. He said that he knew that he was more than twice the limit.”

Working dad Stainbank, who represented himself in court, said he didn’t provide a first breath sample because “they didn’t have reason to believe it was me in the car”.

He added: “I didn’t realise that there was an actual offence of failing to provide.”

Stainbank, of Warkworth Crescent, Seaham, told magistrates he didn’t provide a sample on the second occasion because he did not think he had skipped the red light, adding: “I now realise it was no reason to say no.”

Magistrates adjourned the case for reports and Stainbank, who admitted two charges of failing to provide a specimen for analysis, will return to the same court for sentencing on Friday, February 14