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Portadown man hit with three-and-a-half year driving ban after refusing breath sample

the 37-year-old also resisted arrest, biting the seatbelt to prevent officers placing it on him and attempting to get out the other door

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A Portadown man has been handed a three-and-a-half year disqualification after refusing to co-operate with police in providing a sample of his breath for analysis.

Court heard how the 37-year-old also resisted his arrest, biting the seatbelt to prevent officers placing it on him and attempting to get out the other door.

Jonathan Giffin, of Marlacoo Road, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance, taking a vehicle without authority, no driving licence, resisting police, obstructing a constable and failing to provide a specimen of breath at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on February 18, of last year, police received a report of suspected drink driver at the SuperValu in Tandragee.

Officers attended the address of the registered owner and observed the Nissan car in the driveway of the property.

They spoke with the owner and she said that she was the only person insured to drive the vehicle and that she had not given permission for anyone else to use it.

Police noted the only other person at the property was this defendant, who appeared under the influence and smelled of intoxicating liquor.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail and giving a reading of 145mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Giffin resisted his arrest, biting the seatbelt to prevent officers placing it on him and attempting to get out the other door.

At Lurgan Custody Suite, the defendant refused to provide an evidential sample of his breath for testing.

CCTV showed Giffin exit the car in the forecourt of the SuperValu store and enter the shop before returning.

The defendant made no comment to all questions put to him during interview.

Defence solicitor Gabriel Ingram stated that his client, who is employed as a labourer, did not have a problem with alcohol, but it was accepted that he would receive a longer disqualification due to a relevant prior conviction.

Giffin was disqualified from driving for three-and-a-half years. He was also ordered to pay a fine of £1,300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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