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Mom who refused ‘drunk test’ fined $4,625

Published: 
Friday, November 12, 2010
Angelina Mitchell leaves the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Photo: Rishi Ragoonath

 The decision by Angelina Mitchell, a mother of two, to refuse breathalyser testing at the Mon Repos Police Station on Wednesday night cost her $4,625 in fines yesterday. The 44-year-old woman, of Thompson Gardens, Tarouba South, Marabella, appeared before San Fernando Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan charged with disorderly behaviour and failing to submit breath for testing. Both offences occurred at the police station. Rambachan, in passing sentence, told Mitchell: “The police station is a place of last resort where people are traumatised and have their liberty taken away. The police officers do not need extra function with someone getting on a little bad.”

 He warned Mitchell, a labourer, to be mindful of her behaviour, especially in public places like police stations. “In the police station and any public place you have to behave in a serene and comfortable way with others,” he added. Mitchell was arrested by WPC Alana Callender and PC Mirza Mohammed after she failed to provide a specimen of breath for testing without reasonable cause and behaved in a disorderly behaviour at the station. She pleaded guilty to both offences. Rambachan asked the woman why she did not submit for testing and she said: “I give it the last time once.” “You have to give it on each occasion they request it,” the magistrate responded.

She was ordered to pay $4,500 or serve nine months for the breathalyser offence and ordered to pay $1,900 forthwith. She was given two months to pay the balance. Police Prosecutor Sgt Dane Sorzano said around 4.30 pm Mitchell drove to the Mon Repos Police Station to make a report of an accident and officers detected alcohol on her breath and observed her speech was slurred. The woman began pounding the countertop in the station and spoke in a loud tone of voice. Officers told her they suspected she was driving after consuming alcohol over the prescribed limit and asked her if she would submit to testing.

She said: “I only had a few drinks. I will do the test.” Mitchell was unable to provide a sufficient sample of breath and was told she was wilfully failing to give a specimen. She was asked to try again and the woman replied: “Officer you trying to pappyshow me. I ain’t doing no test.” She began gesticulating and speaking in a loud tone of voice and hitting her hand on the counter.

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