A SUSPECTED drink driver was pepper-sprayed after refusing a roadside breath-test.

Daniel Weighill came to police attention driving at speed towards a force vehicle in Chilton Lane, Ferryhill, shortly before 11am, on Thursday December 12.

Durham Crown Court heard only hard-braking prevented a collision.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said Weighill, slurring his words and unsteady on his feet, became aggressive when asked to undergo the breathalyser procedure for the two female officers.

As he tried to walk away the officers attempted to use handcuffs, resulting in an outpouring of obscenities.

Miss Lamballe said he was only detained after use of incapacitant spray, which caused him to drop to his knees swearing. A knife was recovered from his pocket.

He again refused to give a breath sample at a police station, and later told officers he had drunk a litre bottle of whisky and was, “nine out of ten”, drunk.

Weighill, 34, of Hawkshead Place, Newton Aycliffe, admitted resisting police, failing to give a breath specimen, no insurance or full licence, plus possession of a bladed article.

Ian West, for the defendant, said he has been on overnight tagged home curfew since his first crown court appearance, in mid-January.

Judge James Adkin said that was sufficient punishment and passed a 12-month community order, with 30 probation-led activity days to address Weighill’s heavy drinking, and he was banned from driving for a year.