A Lockyer Valley man refused a random breath test for fear of catching coronavirus.
A Lockyer Valley man refused a random breath test for fear of catching coronavirus.

Drunk driver refuses RBT, fears catching virus

A DRUNK driver has blamed his fear of catching the coronavirus for refusing to let police test him when they pulled him over for a roadside breath test.

Instead of blowing into the breathalyser, Daryl Kevin Comerford, 33, refused – but told police he had been drinking.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Alister Windsor told Gatton Magistrates Court that police had been patrolling on April 16, when they came across Comerford.

Sgt Windsor said police stopped Comerford on Campbell St, Laidley, at 5.13pm.

“He refused initially to provide a specimen of breath for a roadside breath test but he did however make an official admission to having recently consumed alcohol,” Sgt Windsor said.

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The court heard there had been a “momentary struggle” when Comerford resisted the breath test.

“When he was detained at roadside for the purpose of the test, he has resisted … There was a momentarily but not terribly voracious struggle,” Sgt Windsor said.

“That was the height of it.”

The court heard Comerford had been taken to the Laidley Police Station and had been asked a second time to comply with a breath test.

“The defendant has provided a specimen of breath upon that request,” Sgt Windsor said.

The reading confirmed Comerford’s blood alcohol concentration was three times the legal at 0.152.

Duty lawyer James Ryan said Comerford’s relationship had been jeopardised by his actions.

“He is remorseful … As a result of his offence, he almost lost his de facto partner, but they have reconciled,” Mr Ryan said.

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He said Comerford suffered from severe depression and anxiety and had been afraid of catching the coronavirus in a roadside breath test.

“His resistance at the time was back in mid-April and, I think, shortly after that police have actually stopped administering RBTs for a while because of concerns,” he said.

“He personally had a concern about what he was exposing himself to.”

Comerford pleaded guilty to three charges, including driving under the influence, obstructing police and failing to provide a specimen as required.

Magistrate Kay Ryan fined him $1200 and disqualified him from driving for six months.

A conviction was recorded.

Read more stories by Ebony Graveur.