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Wine expert banned from roads for breath test refusal

A wine expert who claimed to be on his way home from a tasting when he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving was banned from the roads for 18 months and fined yesterday.

Arne Schwarz, 57, a sommelier, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court to refusal to take a breath test.

The court heard that police found Schwarz outside of The Spot Restaurant on Burnaby Street, Hamilton in the early hours of January 20.

Officers asked him why he was out past the Government-mandated curfew but he did not give a clear answer.

Schwarz attempted to leave on his motorcycle but officers stopped him soon and asked if he had been drinking.

He was unable to give a clear reply and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Nicole Smith, for the Crown, said that officers asked Schwarz to take a breath test, but his responses became “increasingly nonsensical” and police were forced to keep him in a cell overnight.

Schwarz, from Paget, told the court that he was a sommelier and had come back from a wine tasting just before he was spotted by the officers.

He added that he was confident that he was sober enough to ride home and had only been out past curfew because he had visit his bank.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo fined Schwarz $1,000 in addition to the ban.

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