Driver begins ban after refusing to give blood sample due to “fear of needles”

The man had downed two pints but passed a breath test after being pulled over before failing a drugs swipe.

Northumbria PoliceNorthumbria Police
Northumbria Police

A South Tyneside dad with a dislike of needles is starting a lengthy driving ban after refusing to give a blood sample after testing positive for cocaine at the roadside.

Ryan Andrews, 39, was tailed motoring in Gateshead after officers spotted him picking up pals carrying cans of booze on Friday, October 20.

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Andrews, of Gaskell Avenue, Biddick Hall, had downed two pints but passed a breath test after being pulled over, borough magistrates heard.

But he failed a roadside drugs’ swipe, leading to his arrest and a legal demand that he give an evidential sample of blood at a police station.

He agreed to do so but then refused when push came to shove, prosecutor Paul Anderson said.

Magistrates banned Andrews from driving for 26 months and fined him £200, with £85 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

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Mr Anderson said: “He was stopped while driving and given a breath test which was passed and a drugs test which was positive.

“He agreed to give a blood test at the police station, but he then refused to do that. He was warned of the consequences of not doing so but still refused.

“It’s a deliberate refusal but lower harm. It’s a disqualification range of 17 to 28 months.”

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Andrews, who is unemployed but may be starting overseas work, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

In a report, the Probation Service said he admitted to having drunk two beers and to being a “sporadic” cocaine user.

Angus Westgarth, defending, said an incident in childhood involving a relative had left Andrews with an aversion to needles.

Mr Westgarth added: “He accepts that he doesn’t have a reasonable excuse for not providing. He doesn’t have a defence to it.

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“But he did explain to the officers that he was willing to provide a urine sample, but they wanted blood.

“People had asked him for a lift, he did a good turn, they couldn’t get a taxi. They had cans and he thinks that’s why he was followed.

“The drug swipe was positive for cocaine, which he says was weeks before. Once tested positive, the police have a reasonable excuse to detain.”