A High Wycombe man who was suspected of drink driving has blamed the COVID-19 vaccine for his failure to provide police with a breath specimen.

At Wycombe Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Tuesday) Patrick Agren, of Thanstead Copse, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

The court heard from the prosecutor how Agren, aged 49, was seen by a member of the public when he drove his car into a bollard outside a Shell garage in Hazelmere at around 5.30pm.

The witness saw Agren get out, fill his car up with fuel, pay, and then continue on his journey.

Having called the police, the witness followed Agren in their own car, and he stopped off at The Old Oak pub in Holmer Green. When the police arrived he was sat down on a bench outside the pub.

Police noticed minor damage on the front of Agren’s car where he had hit the bollard, and conducted a road-side breath test on Agren, which he failed.

When officers took Agren to a police station, he was not able to complete further breath tests which were required.

Agren’s defence lawyer told the court that since his client had received his COVID-19 vaccine, his “breath span” was reduced, and this was why he could not complete the breath tests at the police station, asking the magistrates to consider it “significant mitigation.”

Sentencing, the magistrates banned Agren from driving for one year, which will be reduced to nine months if he completes a drink driving awareness course.

He was also fined £267 and ordered to pay £119 costs.