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Rugby player fined, banned for drink driving

Derek Townsend

A Canadian World Rugby Classic player was fined $800 today in Magistrates’ Court after he refused to take a breath test.

The court heard that Derek Townsend, 33, was stopped on his motorbike at a breath test checkpoint on Montpelier Road in Devonshire.

Officers suspected he had been drinking, asked Townsend to perform a field sobriety test and, based on the results, asked for a breath test.

But Townsend refused and was arrested and taken to Hamilton Police Station, where he agreed to take a test.

Townsend was found to have 167 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood — more than double the legal limit of 80/100.

The incident happened on Thursday night.

Cameron Hill, Townsend’s defence lawyer, told magistrate Juan Wolffe that the defendant, from Vancouver, was unaware of Bermuda’s drink-driving laws and did not know that traffic stops were in operation.

But Mr Wolffe said that did not excuse Townsend’s behaviour.

He added: “In fact, I believe the Bermudian traffic stops were modelled after Canadian traffic stops.”

Townsend was ordered to pay the fine before he left on Sunday and was also banned from Bermudian roads for a year.

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