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19-year-old with autism banned from driving after repeatedly failing to take breath test

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A 19-year-old has been disqualified from driving after repeatedly refusing to complete a breath test until he was allowed to make a phone call.Benjamin Rayner was driving through Lynn on January 19 when a police officer noted his excessive speed.He was followed onto an Austin Street car park, where Rayner had left his car parked over two bays.

Benjamin Rayner repeatedly failed to provide a specimen for analysis. Picture: iStock

He approached the officer and apologised for his manner of driving, but then attempted to walk away when he was asked to complete a roadside breath test.Rayner was warned that a failure to provide a sample would result in his arrest, but he continually insisted that he had to make a phone call before doing so.“Not until I make my call – I am entitled to one,” he said that the scene.After continual refusals, he was arrested – and while in custody, he continued to insist on contacting someone before providing an evidential sample.“I am not failing to provide, I want to make a phone call,” he told officers.Rayner was subsequently charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis, as well as driving without insurance and without a licence.He pleaded guilty to all three offences when he appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.Appearing unrepresented, Rayner, of Herdsmans Close in Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, apologised for his actions.Reading from a pre-prepared note, he told magistrates that he has ADHD and autism.He also said he did not fail to provide a sample because he was intoxicated, but because of “panic”.“I am in no way making excuses for my actions, as I understand the severity of the offences and the punishments that they entail,” he said.Rayner said he had been attempting to make a phone call to seek “some much needed reassurance and advice”, and did not feel the police dealt with him appropriately after he explained himself.He told the court he was driving without insurance because he believed using a family member’s details would cover him. He did not hold a valid licence at the time of his offences.“To lose my licence will cause me great hardship,” Rayner added.This is because he works on farms in rural locations, and will struggle to travel between them.Magistrates disqualified Rayner from driving for 17 months.He will also pay a £200 fine, £80 victim surcharge and £50 in legal costs.



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