A DRIVER failed to provide a breath sample fearing he might fail a breath test after driving the wrong way up a one-way street.

Nicholas William Thompson admitted failing to provide a sample when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Thompson had been spotted driving through Ross-on-Wye at 4am on September 11, prosecutor Mark Hambling said.

Officers decided to follow him after noting his driving was "not great", and approached him after he took a wrong turn and came to a stop.

Thompson was asked to undertake a roadside breath test several times, but the attempts were unsuccessful.

He was arrested and taken to Hereford Police Station, where he was asked to take another breath test.

But after first agreeing to do so, Thompson then changed his mind, telling officers he would take the prosecution instead.

Mark Turnbull, for Thompson, said the 36-year-old had been on his way to a funeral in Carmarthen.

"On this day he had gone out with friends for a curry and had drunk about two thirds of a bottle of wine," Mr Turnbull said.

The court heard procurement manager Thompson had rested for a few hours before getting behind the wheel and had travelled along the M5 and M50 before heading into Ross to find a toilet.

"Not knowing the roads he winds up turning down a one-way street, sees another car coming towards him, and pulls over," Mr Turnbull said.

"He did try to give a breath sample at the roadside and I would say this is not a deliberate failure to provide, but he did not realise that a failure to provide a sample brings a mandatory ban. He did know that he might be over if he provided a sample and that he would be disqualified in that situation.

"He now deeply regrets that decision."

Thompson, of Morland Place, Birmingham, was disqualified from driving for 16 months and fined £415. He must also pay costs of £135 and a £42 victim surcharge.