An Amble man has been disqualified from driving for three years.
Geoffrey Young, 54, of Bisley Road, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
Magistrates in Berwick heard the charge stemmed from an incident on Church Road, Amble, on New Year’s Eve.
Omara Ahmed, prosecuting, said police attended the defendant’s home address following a report of a suspected drink-driver. There had also been a report of a minor damage vehicle collision.
The defendant was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink and taken to Middle Engine Lane police station in Wallsend where he refused to provide a sample.
Ian O’Rourke, in mitigation, said: “It’s often said that ignorance of the law is no defence and that is the case here.
“The defendant is seen driving and has a very minor collision with a parked car. Because of that he was reported to the police as a suspected drink-driver.”
The defendant had a rum and coke after getting home and made that point at the police station. He wrongly believed he did not have to provide a sample, said Mr O’Rourke.
The court heard the defendant, an electrical engineer, had most recently been working on Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium but was now setting up a new business in Poland and living most of the time in Portugal.
Magistrates imposed an 18-month driving ban which will be reduced by 18 weeks on completion of a drink-driver rehabilitation course. He was also fined £833 and ordered to pay £168 in costs and victim surcharge.