Two-time Ipswich drink-driver sucked 11p in bid to foil breathalyser


11pence - Credit: Archant

A drink-driver put 11p in his mouth in a futile attempt to avoid failing a breath test for the second time in four years, a court heard.

Daniel Potts, of Woodbridge Road, Ipswich told police he did so because he believed a friend had successfully defeated a breathalyser previously by sucking on a 2p coin.

However, the 25-year-old’s ruse failed and he ended up being disqualified from driving for 40 months by the town’s magistrates after admitting drink-driving, driving with no insurance, and obstructing a police constable.

After failing a roadside breath test when he was stopped in Alpe Street, Ipswich, on February 28 Potts was taken to Martlesham police investigation centre.

While carrying out two formal breath tests on an intoximeter police heard a metal sound coming from Potts’ mouth.

When they checked Potts had put two coins inside in an effort to affect the intoximeter’s results.

Prosecutor Tess Mann told the court: “It was found he had 11 pence in his mouth.”

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Mrs Mann added Potts told police: “My mate Dave once sucked 2p when he was caught for drink-driving and got off, and we call him 2p Dave.

“Am I going to get in trouble for this?”

Previously magistrates heard Potts had been seen by a police officer driving a VW Passat in St Matthew’s Street, Ipswich, at 10.40am.

The officer noticed the vehicle’s offside rear tyre was almost flat.

Potts was the only person in the VW. The car stopped as it was turning into Orford Street where it hit a kerb.

Mrs Mann said the police officer had switched on the siren and lights of his car, requesting the VW to halt.

Potts’ breath smelled of alcohol, his eyes were glazed and his speech was slurred.

A check showed the vehicle did not have any insurance.

When Potts finally took the intoximeter breath test it showed Potts he had 51 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal is 35 mcgs.

The court heard Potts had been disqualified for drink-driving in 2012.

Dino Barricella, representing Potts, said: “It’s very unfortunate as to how this matter has occurred.”

The court was told Potts accepted he drank to excess the previous night, but stopped consuming alcohol at around 4am.

It had not been his intention to drive but several hours later Potts had an argument with his girlfriend and did not want to stay in the flat they were in so decided to drive.

The self-employed father-of-two was insured to drive, but the car belonged to a friend who Potts intended to buy it from and was uninsured. Mr Barricella said his client did not realise this.

In addition to his driving ban Potts was ordered to pay a total of £505 in fines, costs and a victim surcharge.