Over limit driver in Chapel St Leonards thought he was on private land

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A DRIVER who refused to give a breath test to police, believed he was on private land and therefore not oblged to give one, a court has heard.

William Spencer, 59, of Lindfield Road, Nottingham, admitted failing to provide the breath test at the Golden Palms Resort in Chapel St Leonards, when he appeared before magistrates in Boston.

Shelley Wilson prosecuting, said police had attended an incident on the resort’s car park on July 26, during which they had asked Spencer to provide a breath test, which he had refused, so he was arrested but also refused to give a sample of breath at the police station.

Mitigating, Beris Brickles said Spencer had parked his car in the car park where the resort’s shops and restaurants were and he believed that it was private property and so he was not obliged to take a breath test.

Mr Brickles said Spencer had been visiting a friend in a static caravan that was in an area that probably was private, under the legal definition, but he said the car park itself was open to the road and was therefore public.

The magistrates told Spencer, who had no previous convictions, that they would go outside their guidelines because of the circumstances and fined him just £120 with £115 in costs and charges, but they were obliged to ban him from driving, which they did for 16 months.

They did however, offer him the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course which will reduce the period of the ban by 16 weeks.