Union leader’s son denies drink driving
A man charged with drink driving and refusal to take a breath test told a court that a friend had driven him home while he slept – and left him in his car at the side of the road where it was spotted by a passing police patrol.
Chris Furbert Jr, 42, told Magistrates’ Court that he agreed to let a friend drive him home because he had been exhausted from work and took a nap along the drive.
He added: “I was tired – I don’t know too many people who would be bouncing around if someone woke them at five in the morning.”
Mr Furbert, from Southampton, denied the charges on Wednesday.
The incident is alleged to have happened on July 31, 2019 in St George’s.
Mr Furbert told the court that he had been awake since 5am on the day of the alleged offences to make deliveries for work before he took part in a bartending competition at Wahoo’s Bistro in St George’s.
He said that he bumped into two friends after the competition and one of them offered to take him home because they were near neighbours and Mr Furbert was “extremely tired”.
Mr Furbert said: “I told him I had no intention of driving, so when we went to the car he realised it was a stick shift.
“He said something about how he couldn’t drive stick shift but he drove anyway.
“Next thing I knew I was passed out.”
Mr Furbert said that the car was parked unevenly near St George’s Cricket Club and he was awoken by the lights and siren of a police car.
He added he could not find his friend or the car keys.
Mr Furbert added: “I saw the lights and just got out by the driver’s side.
“I saw two police officers – the gentleman officer asked if I knew I was partially in the road and I told him no, I wasn’t aware.
“I might have told them I wasn’t driving the car.”
Mr Furbert said that police asked him where his car keys were but he told them he did not know.
The court heard that police officers had said he asked them “Do you know who I am?” as he was interviewed, which he denied.
Mr Furbert, the son of Bermuda Industrial Union leader Chris Furbert, admitted he told the officers that he knew David Burt, the Premier, but said in court “everybody knows the Premier”.
He added: “I did tell the officers ’you’ll be packing groceries’, but the male officer actually chuckled at that.”
Mr Furbert said said the car keys were found on the passenger’s seat and he was arrested.
Kentisha Tweed, for the Crown, questioned Mr Furbert why his friend would have left the car parked in such a “bizarre position” with the headlights on.
She also questioned how someone who was not comfortable driving a stick shift could have parked the car.
Ms Tweed suggested that Mr Furbert had been the driver of the vehicle and was intoxicated.
She suggested he placed the car keys on the passenger side of the vehicle and refused to take a breath test to distance himself “from the suspicion that had already been raised”.
But Mr Furbert insisted he refused a breath test because he was not the driver of the car.
He added that he had not drank alcohol in two years.
Acting Magistrate Rachael Barritt adjourned the case until February 15 and extended Mr Furbert’s bail.
The trial continues.
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