Home breath test not accurate in drink drive conviction

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A driver who got behind the wheel after a home breath test was negative was caught over the limit, a court heard.

Iglas Maluiska was a self-employed van driver and had "erred on the side of caution" and taken the home test after he had been drinking the night before. It gave him the green light to drive, but the police breath test has now led to a 12-month ban.

Burnley magistrates were told how Maluiska was stopped by officers on Shuttleworth Hall Link Road in the town at 11-30am, because his MOT had expired. He told police he had had a drink about 10 hours before.

The defendant failed a roadside breath test and was taken to the police station, where a test showed 41 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mr John Rusius (defending) told the hearing Maluiska spent five hours in police custody. The solicitor said: "He tells me he had been drinking the night before, but nothing on the day in question. It's just one of those situations where he has been caught out the morning after the night before, it seems."

Mr Rusius said the defendant was a self-employed van driver. He went on: "He tends to err on the side of caution. He had a home breath test kit. That proved negative before he set off. The police machine was obviously operating more accurately. He cooperated with the police."

Maluiska, of Whitebank Road, Oldham, admitted driving with excess alcohol on June 9th.

The defendant, who is from Lithuania, was fined £80, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.