Breath-test driver ‘ignored’ police warning not to get behind the wheel

High Peak Magistrates' Court
High Peak Magistrates' Court

A Buxton man warned by police not to drive after failing a roadside breath test which he had himself requested, then proceeded to get behind the wheel of his car, a court heard.

Robert Bridge, 32, of Victoria Park Road, Fairfield, was arrested and failed to provide a specimen of breath at the police station, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday.

The court heard that Bridge had initially been spoken to by officers in Buxton town centre at about 3am on April 10. They had seen his Audi A3 parked at a junction, with the defendant walking towards it.

Bridge admitted he had been drinking, but that he intended to sleep in the car until morning, magistrates were told. The defendant asked to be breathalysed by police and provided a reading at the roadside of 72 in breath - the legal limit is 35.

John Cooper, prosecuting, said: “He (Bridge) was told if he moved the vehicle he would be arrested.”

Police drove a short distance away, but Bridge approached them and asked them to sort out a taxi for him, as he thought they had some system in place.

The officer later left the scene completely to deal with an incident, but a short while later returned to find the Audi A3 had been moved and was now parked on South Mews. The defendant was near the driver’s side door and ran away from the officers, who gave chase.

Bridge was arrested and at the police station refused to provide a sample of breath, being abusive towards the officers.

Mr Cooper said Bridge was described as being unsteady on his feet and confrontational. Kirsten Collings, defending, said: “In this case, quite unusually, we have a non-evidential indication of the level of alcohol as he asked to be breathalysed before he took the decision to drive.

“He does struggle with authority, and struggles to deal with the police in a reasonable way.

“What he says is he asked for the officers’ help and asked them to move his vehicle 50 yards.”

She said the driving ban would cause problems for Bridge, who provided transport for his wife to get to her work as a mobile carer, regularly travelled to see his children in Derby, as well as helping family members attend hospital appointments.

Bridge, who pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to provide a specimen, was banned from driving for 20 months, fined £140 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.