A tattooed drug-driver claimed he failed to provide a blood sample due to his fear of needles.
About 11pm on 11 September, police on the A27 at Tangmere spotted a Vauxhall which was being driven without any lights on.
The driver was pulled over and identified as Rudi Gomes, a building labourer, of Neville Duke Way, Tangmere.
Due to his demeanour and a strong smell coming from his vehicle, he was required to undergo a roadside DrugWipe, which tested positive for cannabis.
The 29-year-old was arrested and taken to custody to provide an evidential sample of blood, but he refused, initially saying he didn’t feel he was impaired. However he later told police he didn’t like needles.
A small quantity of cannabis was also found in his underwear.
He was subsequently charged with failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis when suspected to have driven while over the limit for drugs, and possession of cannabis. He was further charged with failing to surrender to custody having been released on bail.
He was convicted following a trial at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 4 January and the case was adjourned for sentencing on 27 February.
Gomes was sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work, and disqualified from driving for 36 months. He was also ordered to pay £775 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.
PC Tom Van Der Wee, of the Arundel Roads Policing Unit, said: “Gomes showed a blatant disregard for the law, and for the safety of himself and other roads users by driving while over the limit for drugs.
“He then failed to provide a specimen of blood in custody, which is a legal requirement, despite being given numerous opportunities to do so. He claimed he had a phobia of needles, despite having a number of tattoos on both arms.
“We will continue to proactively target drink and drug-drivers 365 days a year, and deal with offenders robustly.”
If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:
- A minimum 12 month ban;
- An unlimited fine;
- A possible prison sentence;
- A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
- An increase in your car insurance;
- Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.