Burnley man 'thoroughly embarrassed' to be in court for drink-driving offence

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A driver who "blatantly refused" to give a police station breath test has been ordered off the road for 30 months.

Burnley magistrates heard how Richard Berry had blown 90 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the roadside, but wouldn't provide two more samples for analysis. The legal limit is 35.

The court was told 43-year-old Berry had been followed by police at 1-20am and was seen going onto the opposite side of the road and then back again in the town.

He turned into Coalclough Lane, was stopped, his speech was slurred, his eyes were glazed and the officer could smell alcohol from inside the car.

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said Berry was taken to the custody office after the reading at the roadside test was 90.

He was asked if he would agree to two further breath tests and said no.

She continued: "When told he would be prosecuted, again he replied 'no'. He was asked if there was any medical reason and he said, 'Yeah, manic depression,' then, 'No actually, I haven't'."

The prosecutor added: "He was agitated throughout the procedure. He reiterated twice that he didn't have any valid reason not to provide."

Mr David Lawson, defending, said Berry, an installation installer on building sites, mostly worked in Wigan.

The solicitor told the Bench: "He has been quite candid and accepts full responsibility for his actions.

"In his younger days, he was a handful and was regularly before the courts and he is thoroughly embarrassed to appear before you again.

"He says when the police attended upon him it was almost as if he reverted back to his youth."

Mr Lawson added: "He comes to the court extremely candid, extremely honest and extremely remorseful. Clearly, he has turned his life around. He has kept out of trouble for 20 years."

The defendant, of Queensberry Road, Burnley, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis at Blackburn, on July 8th. He was given eight weeks in prison, suspended for a year and must pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.