Man stalled police blood test for four hours

A man in Hokitika argued with police for several hours to avoid a blood test, a court has heard. Photo / Thinkstock
A man in Hokitika argued with police for several hours to avoid a blood test, a court has heard. Photo / Thinkstock

Stalling tactics by a newcomer to Hokitika during a breath-testing procedure so infuriated one of the arresting constables that he stormed into the room and yelled, "Listen, just give the f****** blood," a court has been told.

Former Auckland man Michael Michael Peter Barukh, 54, managed to drag out the procedure for almost four hours, Greymouth District Court was told on Monday.

The court was told police followed his car on State Highway 6 4km before stopping it at 12.20am on March 25.

Barukh, who moved from Auckland only three months earlier, would not properly blow into the breathalyser.

Constable Bill Tailby said Barukh was taken back to Hokitika police station, where he eventually gave a breath-alcohol reading of 703mcg. The legal limit is 400mcg per litre of breath.

Barukh was then given the option of supplying a blood sample and spent more than three hours trying to contact a lawyer of his choice, ringing Auckland and Nelson lawyers and exhausting the list of West Coast duty solicitors.

Eventually, Barukh agreed to give a blood sample. Then, when the nurse arrived to take it, he demanded that she provide evidence of her status so she had to go home and obtain her practising certificate. When she returned he then demanded photo identity, which was provided when the nurse produced her driver's licence.

Barukh then refused to give the blood sample unless a lawyer was present, saying that he was Jewish and his faith did not like to give blood. He claimed that police had falsified evidence against him in the past.

"I have not refused, it's a Catch-22. You should let me go, I have got off before because of false evidence," he said.

Eventually the officers charged him with refusing to supply blood and took him home at 3.50am.

Under cross-examination by Barukh, Mr Tailby accepted that the other officer had yelled at him, but said he had not threatened him.

"He was short with you, so I asked him to leave the room."

Barukh argued in court that he had been entitled to have a lawyer present. As a plumber, he was always on call and lawyers should be the same. "The prices they charge they should be on call 24-7."

Judge Michael Behrens disagreed, convicting Barukh. He fined him $700 and disqualified him from driving for six months.

- APNZ

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