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Moped rider failed to provide a breath sample

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A TRAINEE HGV driver has been banned from driving for two years and sentenced to 100 hours of community service for failing to provide a breath sample.

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Michael Stewart Webster (29), who lives in St Helier, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday after pleading guilty to the charge.

Centenier Peter Garrett, reading out the facts of the case, said that on 5 July States police officers were driving along Bath Street when they spotted Webster riding a moped.

He added that the defendant appeared to be unsteady and was near to the middle of the road. When Webster was stopped, he appeared unsteady on his feet, was unable to focus on the questions asked and was slurring his speech.

He then failed a roadside-breath test, was arrested and taken to police headquarters where he was twice asked to provide a breath sample and refused to do so on both occasions.

Advocate Francesca Pinel, defending, said that Webster suffered from asthma and had therefore been unable to blow into the machine but had offered officers a specimen of blood.

However, Mr Garrett, citing a police report, said that prior to the test, Webster had been asked if there was any medical reason preventing him from providing a specimen of breath to which he responded, ‘no’.

In sentencing, Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris noted the defendant’s offer of blood instead of breath but said there had been no reason to take it.

‘If I was to send you to prison today it would be for four months but I am going to sentence you to 100 hours of community service,’ he said.

‘Provided you do the work and stay out of trouble while you are doing it, you will avoid prison.’

Webster was also banned from driving for two years and must retake his test if he wishes to drive again.

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