A tattooed drug-driver claimed he cannot provide a blood sample due to his phobia of needles.

Police on the A27 at Tangmere spotted a Vauxhall which was being driven without any lights on.

The driver, Rudi Gomes, of Neville Duke Way, Tangmere, was pulled and because of a strong smell coming from his vehicle, he was required to undergo a roadside DrugWipe, which tested positive for cannabis.

The incident happened on September 11 at about 11pm.

The 29-year-old, who works as a building labourer, was arrested and taken to custody to provide a blood sample. However, he refused and initially said he was not impaired. He then told police he did not like needles.

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

He was 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 January 4 and the case was adjourned for sentencing on February 27.

Gomes was sentenced to a 12-month community order. He is required 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.”