Drink-driver loses case over how he was breathalysed

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A DRINK-DRIVER lost an appeal over his conviction despite showing a breathalyser was used incorrectly.

Richard Dexter appealed at Portsmouth Crown Court following his conviction by magistrates last year.

Dexter, 31, of The Glade, Waterlooville, was found guilty after he was stopped by police as he drove home on March 1, 2014.

He was breathalysed and taken to Waterlooville police station for more breath tests.

Speaking in the appeal, he said: ‘The evening in question, although a long time ago, has been the subject of a lot of focus as far as I’m concerned.

‘I don’t drink and drive, I have two children. I had a very good friend of mine killed when I was younger.

‘It’s not something I do or is acceptable to me or anybody I know.’

And he told Judge Roger Hetherington, who was sitting with two magistrates to hear the appeal, that his appeal was not frivolous.

Dexter played footage showing PC Andy Collis attempting to put a clean mouthpiece on a used one on a breathalyser at Waterlooville station.

He argued this had contaminated the machine that was used to read the level of alcohol in his breath.

Dexter also claimed his use of an electronic cigarette and chewing gum affected a roadside test.

The court heard two readings were taken from Dexter at the station, one of 59mg in 100ml of breath and one of 64mg. He was convicted on the 59mg reading.

Judge Hetherington dismissed the appeal against conviction.

He said: ‘We are quite satisfied that the reading that was produced was a reliable reading and accordingly the offence was made out.’

PC Collis said he suspected Dexter had been trying to cheat the roadside test and had to make a number of attempts to get the reading.

Magistrates had earlier fined Dexter £450, told him to pay a £45 victim surcharge and £500 costs.

He was disqualified from driving for 14 months.

Judge Hetherington also dismissed Dexter’s appeal over his sentence and ordered him to pay £535 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service for the appeal.