AKRON, Ohio -- A South Euclid man who became the first person in Summit County to be found guilty of tampering with evidence for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test was sentenced to three years in prison in Summit County Court.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Judith Hunter sentenced Vitaly Simin, 36, on the tampering as well as his sixth conviction on drunken driving.

His driver's license was also suspended for 10 years.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, author of the law that says drivers cannot refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test, said the guilty verdict is a victory.

"The law is now clear that drunk drivers cannot refuse to take a breath test," she said in a news release. "It is mandatory, and the jury agreed that Mr. Simin broke that law and deserved prison time. Bottom line: It doesn't pay to refuse to cooperate. It will increase your sentence."

On March 21, 2009, Twinsburg police saw Simin's car swerving and riding the curb line of Interstate 480. When police pulled the car over and spoke with the driver, the officer smelled alcohol on his breath.

Simin failed the field sobriety test, but refused the Breathalyzer test and also refused to give a blood sample at the hospital.