Man refused breath test, didn’t want to ‘spread’ COVID
A DRIVER told police he would not give a breath sample because he did not want to give them COVID-19.
When intercepted driving back in April last year at the height of the pandemic, Samuel Reda failed to provide breath specimens twice when requested by police.
Samuel Teka Reda, 27, from Richlands, appeared before Ipswich Magistrates Court from jail via video-link, and pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath or saliva for test (roadside) in Collingwood Park on April 12, 2020; and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.
Reda had been very intoxicated and told Ipswich Magistrates Court he had no strong recollection of the event that day.
He answered questions from magistrate Dennis Kinsella about his health, saying he suffers anxiety and had liver concerns.
Reda explained that at the time of the offending he had broken up with his partner.
Mr Kinsella noted that it occurred in unusual circumstances.
He said Reda refused his breath tests, saying at the time that he had COVID and was worried about spreading it to the police officers.
Reda did not have the virus.
Mr Kinsella said the matter occurred during his use of alcohol and when suffering anxiety.
He said issues of mental health also reduced his culpability.
Reda also had a history of driving offences involving alcohol.
Mr Kinsella said Reda was now disqualified absolutely from driving when sentenced by Richlands Magistrates Court in January for driving when unlicensed and failing to provide a breath specimen.
He also received a six-month jail term and will receive parole in March.
Mr Kinsella took into account that if the charges before him had been dealt with then, Reda was unlikely to have received a more serious penalty.
As a result Reda was convicted only, with a six month disqualification.
Mr Kinsella warned Reda not to get behind the wheel of a car unless a court gave him permission as he was still disqualified absolutely.
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