Hartlepool driver failed roadside drugs test three times in three weeks
A driver who failed a roadside drugs test three times in three weeks has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Malcolm Waddington refused to provide a sample on each occasion.
A judge warned Waddington he will 'surely' go to prison if he is caught again.
Prosecutor Lee Pettengell told Teesside Magistrates' Court police stopped Waddington in his Vauxhall Vectra on three occasions.
"The first was on April 6," added Mr Pettengell.
"Officers formed the impression he was speeding on a slip road of the A19.
"Having failed a roadside swab for cocaine, he refused to give a blood sample.
"On the second occasion he was stopped, he also failed a roadside test for drugs.
"The nurse who dealt with the blood test was unable to find a vein.
"Mr Waddington refused to provide a sample of urine."
The court heard when Waddington was stopped a third time his car was found to have a defective tyre.
"The rear window was either broken or missing," added Mr Pettengell.
"Mr Waddington again failed a roadside drugs test.
"This time he avoided giving a blood sample by saying he had a phobia of needles."
Waddington, 40, of Keswick Street, Hartlepool, denied failing to provide a sample on April 6, April 9, and April 20.
He denied using a tyre with insufficient tread on April 20.
The court heard he has previous convictions for 100 offences.
Waddington changed his plea to guilty after John Relton, defending, sought an indication of likely sentence from District Judge Timothy Capstick.
"A guilty plea, even at this late stage, may make the difference between a suspended and immediate custodial sentence," said the judge.
Mr Relton said Waddington's driving licence was 'about the only positive thing in his life'.
"He was very keen not be banned," added Mr Relton.
"Once I explained the nuances of the system, he accepted his position.
"Mr Waddington does have a bad record, but he has not offended for a year."
Judge Captsick sentenced Waddington to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and banned him from driving for 30 months.
The judge told him: "It is often said by people in your position they had not taken drugs on the day of driving or the day before.
"That will not do, the drugs can stay in your system for a week or even longer.
"Take cocaine, even occasionally, and you are not fit to drive.
"Your guilty plea means I am just prepared to suspend your sentence, but if you are caught again, a man with your record will surely go to prison."
Waddington was ordered to pay £400 costs