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Two-and-a-half year ban, unpaid work and £620 bill for breath test snub

PUBLISHED: 07:14 13 May 2018 | UPDATED: 07:14 13 May 2018

Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

A man who refused to be breathalysed after being found in the back seat of his car has been banned from driving until September 2020.

Police smashed their way into a Vauxhall Astra, driven by Rui Goncalves, when the 46-year-old repeatedly ignored requests to leave the back seat.

He later told police “I’m not doing that”, when requested to provide a breath sample, following his arrest at the side of a road in Martlesham.

Goncalves, of Mary Ruck Way, Black Notley, was banned from driving for 28 months, ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, and hit with a £620 bill for court costs, after being found guilty of failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

At his sentencing, following an earlier trial on May 3, Goncalves told Suffolk magistrates he could not survive without the use of his car, which was seen crashing into a fence on January 26.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said: “At about 9.45pm, officers in the control room were called to reports of a male driving under the influence.

“Witnesses said the vehicle had been driven into a fence and that the driver was sitting in the back.

“Officers found him lying down on the back seat and asked him to open the door.

“When he didn’t respond, they shouted ‘police, open the door’. Again, he did not respond.

“All the doors were locked, so the window was smashed and officers arrested the defendant.

“He was given ample opportunity to provide a specimen of breath, but refused, telling police ‘no, I’m not doing that’.”

Goncalves had been convicted of the same offence in 2005 – and had since been caught driving while disqualified on two occasions.

He denied the latest charge at a hearing on February 28 but the case was proved during a trial.

Through an interpreter, the Portuguese national, who had still to obtain a UK driving licence, claimed to have been asleep when police approached his car.

“I’m sorry for what happened,” he added.

“I really regret it. I was aware I wasn’t able to drive, but I was in my own car, asleep. That’s all.

“I won’t be able to survive without my car.”

Magistrates ordered Goncalves to pay the entire cost of his trial, as well as an £85 statutory fee towards victim services.

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