Germaphobic drink driver loses license after refusing to blow into breathalyser

Austin refused to use a breathalyser (Picture: REX Features)
Austin refused to use a breathalyser (Picture: REX Features)

A motorist has been banned from driving after he refused to blow into a breathalyser because he is afraid of germs.

Gareth Austin turned down the request to provide a breath sample when he was pulled over on January 24 and told police that he was afraid of catching an illness.

But irrespective of the phobia, the 35-year-old also admitted that he was over the limit when police stopped him.

Kate Varlow, prosecuting, told Scarborough Magistrates Court that Austin had been reported to police by staff at a petrol station.

‘Police tracked the vehicle’s registration to the defendant’s home where he was found getting out the vehicle on the driveway’, she said.

‘He refused to take part in proceedings when requested and was arrested.

‘He was taken to Scarborough Police Station where he again refused to provide a specimen of breath due to a fear of germs.’

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Defending Austin, Robert Vining said: ‘If I had a pound for every case in my career when a client did not know the law. He admits he had far too much to drink.

‘My client did not believe he had to provide a breath because he was on private land. At the station he thought someone else had used the mouth piece on the machine, so he refused. He is not suggesting he would not have been over the limit. He accepts he should not have been driving the car.’

Austin has been banned from driving for 40 months and ordered to pay a £487 fine, £85 in costs and a £48 surcharge.