Court: Barking carpenter fined £400 after refusing to give urine sample
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
A carpenter was ordered to pay £525 and banned from driving for refusing to provide a urine sample after he was found crouching in some roadside bushes.
Vitaljs Pleskans, 34, of Westminster Gardens in Barking, pleaded guilty at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on May 15 to the charge of failing to provide a specimen as the person in charge of a vehicle – an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Pleskans, who the court heard has a history of drug use, was taken to a police station on March 25 on suspicion of being unfit to drive his vehicle, after police found him near an empty car parked across a junction.
When asked what he was doing there, prosecutors said, Pleskans confirmed the car was his, said he had lost his keys, and added: “I was driving my car. I needed to piss, so I left it there.”
Police found no alcohol on his breath and ran several tests, but when they asked Pleskans to provide a urine sample he refused.
The prosecutor said: “He said he had been a long-time drug user for many years, but he gave up recently and has been using Methodone.”
In defence, the court heard Pleskans worked long hours for little money as a carpenter in Liverpool Street, and has been in Britain for about a decade.
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The defence added Pleskans has a family to support, and asked the court to consider a financial penalty, adding: “He knows this is a serious offence.”
The judge ordered Pleskans to pay £400, down from £600 for his early guilty plea, plus £85 court costs and a £45 victim surcharge, to be paid in full in three months.
He also banned Pleskans from the roads for a year.
Delivering his ruling, he said: “By [your] refusing to give any specimens, the police were unaware how much you had in your blood system, whether it be alcohol or drugs.
“We have, however, listened to what has been said and understand you are working and have a family to support.”