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Downham man given suspended jail term for breath test refusal

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A West Norfolk driver has been given a suspended prison sentence after a second conviction for failing to provide a breath sample.

Daniel Stock, 30, gave a reading 90 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres in a first evidential sample, more than twice the legal limit of 35.

But Lynn Magistrates’ Court was reminded on Thursday that two samples are required in custody and prosecutor Jodin Gherra said Stock “deliberately” failed to provide a second.

A roadside breathalyser alcohol breath test.
A roadside breathalyser alcohol breath test.

The defendant was arrested in Swaffham en route home to Ruskin Place, Downham Market, after a night drinking in Norwich.

Miss Gherra said: “It was just after 6am on February 27.

“Police received a report from a member of the public to say that a Vauxhall was being driven erratically towards McDonald’s.

King's Lynn Magistrates Court (55704641)
King's Lynn Magistrates Court (55704641)

“Police located the vehicle and followed it through the McDonald’s drive-thru.”

A roadside test gave an indicative reading of 79 micrograms.

Miss Gherra said Stock attempted to “delay and derail” giving the second breath sample in custody.

“He was unable to say why he wasn’t able to provide. The prosecution says this was a deliberate fail to provide that second sample,” she added.

The court was told Stock, who pleaded guilty to the offence, had a previous conviction for the same matter in December 2016.

This triggered a mandatory minimum three-year ban as a second offence within ten years.

George Sorrell, mitigating, said his client had been partying in Norwich.

He added: “Having consumed alcohol, he decided to drive home to Downham Market.

“Unfortunately for him, but perhaps fortunately in the longer term, a motorist notices his manner of driving.

“He tells me he tried his best to provide a sample but, for whatever reason, there was a problem.”

Stock was given eight weeks’ custody, suspended for one year, and banned from driving for three years.

The bench declined to offer a drink-driver rehabilitation course, which could have cut his ban, as he had previously benefited from one.

He was also ordered to pay £233 in costs plus a victim surcharge.

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