Follow Sussex Police Media Centre

Tattooed drug-driver claimed he has fear of needles

News   •   Mar 12, 2019 08:51 GMT

A tattooed drug-driver claimed he failed to provide a blood sample due to his fear of needles.

About 11pm on 11 September, police on the A27 at Tangmere spotted a Vauxhall which was being driven without any lights on.

The driver was pulled over and identified as Rudi Gomes, a building labourer, of Neville Duke Way, Tangmere.

Due to his demeanour and a strong smell coming from his vehicle, he was required to undergo a roadside DrugWipe, which tested positive for cannabis.

The 29-year-old was arrested and taken to custody to provide an evidential sample of blood, but he refused, initially saying he didn’t feel he was impaired. However he later told police he didn’t like needles.

A small quantity of cannabis was also found in his underwear.

He was subsequently charged with failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis when suspected to have driven while over the limit for drugs, and possession of cannabis. He was further charged with failing to surrender to custody having been released on bail.

He was convicted following a trial at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 4 January and the case was adjourned for sentencing on 27 February.

Gomes was sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work, and disqualified from driving for 36 months. He was also ordered to pay £775 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

PC Tom Van Der Wee, of the Arundel Roads Policing Unit, said: “Gomes showed a blatant disregard for the law, and for the safety of himself and other roads users by driving while over the limit for drugs.

“He then failed to provide a specimen of blood in custody, which is a legal requirement, despite being given numerous opportunities to do so. He claimed he had a phobia of needles, despite having a number of tattoos on both arms.

“We will continue to proactively target drink and drug-drivers 365 days a year, and deal with offenders robustly.”

If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:

  • A minimum 12 month ban;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • A possible prison sentence;
  • A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
  • An increase in your car insurance;
  • Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website. 

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online. 

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

Author: Sam Satchell
Ref: SXP54338/2019


IMAGE LICENSING NOTE: The image(s) provided remain(s) the property of Sussex Police.

It is/they are provided for the explicit purpose of journalistic coverage and commentary, in the public interest, in relation to the sentencing of the featured person(s).

You are granted limited licence to use the material for this purpose for 90 days from the date it is provided. You may also re-distribute it for this purpose at zero cost to the receiver, provided it is clearly marked as belonging to Sussex Police and this notice remains.

You may include our material as part of a wider package of journalistic content that is paid for by the receiver – for example a court report or feature article – provided that the material owned by Sussex Police is clearly marked as such, this notice remains and our material is supplemented by content of additional value produced by you.

Re-distribution of this material for profit in breach of the terms above, use for any purpose other than that expressed above or archiving of this material for future use is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Sussex Police.

Requests for use outside of these terms should be sent to