A14 driver refused to give breath specimen because ‘police don’t like Russians’, court told
A driver who failed to provide a breath specimen because he claimed police were prejudiced against Russians has lost his licence for 24 months.
Valeriy Bruzha was stopped on the A14 near Ipswich after his Mercedes had been seen swerving over the dual carriageway did not appear in court.
Instead the 41-year-old’s lawyer William Chipperfield entered a guilty plea to failing to provide a specimen on his behalf.
Prosecutor Tess Mann said the offence occurred at around 8.30pm when Bruzha’s car was noticed by an off-duty police officer because it was being driven in a dangerous manner on the Claydon-bound carriageway of the A14.
The Mercedes was alleged to have swerved across the carriageway and nearly collided with a motorcycle near Sproughton. It then swerved in and out of both lanes of the A14. The vehicle was said to have come close to hitting signs and other road furniture.
Mrs Mann said its speed was erratic and its headlights were flashing to get other road users to move out of its way.
The Mercedes came to a halt at the slip road with Claydon and its hazard lights were put on. The off-duty officer remained with the Bruzha until police arrived.
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Magistrates heard Bruzha smelled of alcohol and was staring into space as he got out of the car.
Mrs Mann told the court Bruzha told an officer: “Police don’t like Russians.”
He was asked to provide a specimen for a roadside breath test, but said he would do it the following day.
Bruzha then repeated the phrase: “You don’t like Russians.”
He was said to have ‘puffed’ into the equipment, although it did not register a reading. Bruzha then refused to take a breath test at the police investigation centre.
Mr Chipperfield, representing Bruzha, said his client’s car was not working correctly and there had been a problem, possibly with the tracking.
He added that being a Ukranian Bruzha believed he should have been offered a blood test, as it appeared drivers are on the continent.
Bruzha had also formed the view police were hostile to him. Magistrates were told the roadside breath test was an “honest refusal”.
Bruzha was also fined £700 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £70 to the victims’ fund.