Lorry driver escaped driving ban after arrest in Mansfield

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A lorry driver with a stammer escaped a driving ban after he was arrested in Mansfield on suspicion of being drunk in charge of a car, a court heard.

Dumitru Serban-Sardaru was found in the passenger seat of the car, parked on Clifton Place, with the engine running, at 1.45am, on January 7.

The officers smelled alcohol on his breath and arrested him. At the police station he gave a reading of 99 mcgs in 100 mls of breath, when the legal limit is 35 mcgs.

But he was unable to provide a second sample, even after three further attempts, said prosecutor Robert Carr.

Rebecca Williams, mitigating, said: “He had no intent to drive and had gone to the vehicle to obtain some personal documents.

“Due to some confusion he struggled to provide a second reading.

“He suffers from a stammer and this affected his ability to provide a sample. But this is not sufficient, unfortunately, to provide him with a defence.”

She said there was also confusion with the telephone interpreter service and he wasn’t clear how long he had to blow into the breathalyser for.

She said Serban-Sardaru was a lorry driver who needs a licence in order to work, but urged magistrates to step back from a driving ban, because he hadn’t been driving.

Serban-Sardaru, 32, of Second Avenue, Forest Town, admitted failing to provide a sample, via a Romanian interpreter, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.

He was fined £266, and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 government surcharge. Ten points were put on his driving licence for the next three years.

He was warned not to commit any more traffic offences because he would be very likely to lose his licence.