FAILING to take a breath test for alcohol — due to a tooth abscess — led to a driver losing his licence for three years.

Island magistrates heard yesterday (Tuesday) that Matthew Rawson, 32, didn't explain to police why he was refusing to take the test.

Rawson, of Priory Road, Shanklin, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis at Newport Police Station on February 10.

Court clerk Lucy Gullen explained that as it was Rawson's second driving offence within ten years, there would be a minimum driving disqualification of three years.

Vivian Ducie, prosecuting, said Rawson's vehicle was seen veering across the road, crossing the white lines and driving at speed.

John Hatton, for Rawson, said his client had had a tooth abscess which is why he wouldn't give a specimen of breath. Rawson was adamant he had not been under the influence while driving, but had not given an explanation to police as to why he couldn't take the test.

He said Rawson worked in removals so a driving ban would significantly impact his life.

Rawson was banned from driving for three years, and given a 12-month community order to include up to ten rehabilitation activity days and 60 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.