Cyclist jailed for refusing breath test

A CATALUÑA court has sent a Ukranian cyclist to jail for 115 days for refusing to take a breathalyser test.

Ruslan Kopchuk, who lives in Palafrugell, Girola, refused to take the test and was arrested by local police officers while riding his bicycle in March 2013.

A court hearing took into account the fact that he had a previous record for a traffic offence in 2007 to sentence him to pay a €960 fine and confiscate his driving licence for eight months.

The jail sentence has come as the cyclist failed to pay the fine, which his lawyer insisted was inapplicable as breathalyser tests are only for drivers of motorised vehicles.

The event in question occurred on March 21, 2013 when Kopchuk decided to go out for a ride in the Faro de Sant Sebastia area. On his way home, he declared that an unidentified person ordered him to halt. As he was suspicious, the cyclist said he picked up speed to escape and was stopped a few metres further on by a patrol car.

The Ukranian man declared that a number of police officers jumped out of the vehicle and pushed him to the floor, handcuffed him and ordered him to take the test, which he refused to do.

The defence lawyer argued: “It would be illogical for a cyclist that refused to take a breathalyser test to be punished with confiscation of his driving licence whereas someone caught driving a car without a licence is simply given a fine.”

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