A Mercedes driver caught behind the wheel stinking of booze cited the Magna Carta as he told police he didn’t need to provide a breath sample.

Conan Fee, 42, was tailed From Abingdon to Botley by another driver who spotted him drifting between lanes on the A34.

The driver, who believed Fee was drunk, even pulled over when Fee stopped his Mercedes off the A-road during the morning rush hour on March 13 last year. The Good Samaritan’s vehicle was almost struck when the car he’d been tailing sped back onto the Abingdon to Oxford road.

Prosecutor Cathy Olliver told Oxford Crown Court that police officers caught up with Fee as he left the Costa drive-thru at Seacourt.

He was arrested and cautioned as he ‘smelled very strongly of alcohol’ and there was a beer bottle in the driver’s door.

The officers tried to get Fee to do a breathalyser test to check how much alcohol in his system. “He protested his rights and said the Magna Carta protected him. He then told the police he had lung problems but would not elaborate on what they were,” Ms Olliver said.

The court heard he had 23 convictions on his record, including two for dangerous driving and three for driving whilst disqualified.

By pleading guilty to careless driving, failing to provide a specimen and failing to cooperate with a road-side test, Fee, of Potary Road, Walsall, was in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed in 2019 for breaching a restraining order.

Speaking in his own defence, Fee told Judge Nigel Daly: “I have made bad judgements in the past but this has been going on for almost two years now.

“In that time I’ve lost a daughter at nine days old. Me and my girlfriend have been struggling because this keeps getting put off and I can only say I’m sorry. I’m heartbroken, it’s been absolutely devastating.”

He was in work and supporting his partner and children, but acknowledged he struggled with alcohol.

Judge Daly imposed an 18 month community order with a 120 day alcohol abstinence tag and up to 30 rehabilitation days. He was banned from driving for four years and must pay £825 in costs and fines.

“If you get behind the wheel of a car and you’ve been drinking again next time you could kill somebody. You know, Mr Fee, you have a shocking record of poor driving,” the judge said.

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