• Failing to provide a specimen

If the police suspect you of drink driving they can require you to take a roadside breath test.

This test is not evidential. If you fail it the police have the power to arrest and take you to a police station to complete further more accurate test to establish the level of alcohol in your system.

When you get to the police station you are obliged to do the breath test and Section 7 of the Road Traffic Act it is an offence to fail to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis without a reasonable excuse.

There is an obligation to provide a specimen when requested – you cannot try to delay the process in the hope that the alcohol level will reduce! If someone fails to provide a specimen, even though they’ve attempted to provide one, they can still be charged with the offence. If someone initially refuses to provide a sample but then changes their mind then they will still be charged as they did not provide a specimen when requested. Finally, someone can be charged if they only provide one sample as two samples are required by law.

When it comes to sentencing a distinction made between failing to provide a specimen when driving and failing to provide when ‘in charge’ of a vehicle.

  • Penalties:

    For failing to provide whilst driving or attempting to drive:
    Unlimited fine
    Six months imprisonment
    Obligatory 12-36 month ban

    For failing to provide whilst in charge of a vehicle:
    £2,500 fine
    Three months imprisonment
    Discretionary 6-12 month driving ban

Defending the Charge

Providing a reasonable excuse to the Court could result in you winning a trial and keeping your licence. But the reasonable excuse must be a mental or physical condition which prevents you from providing a sample and medical or expert evidence is required. Successful excuses have in the past included , small lung capacity, asthma , anxiety and/or panic attacks, fear or phobia of needles (with regard to blood tests).

Defending these cases is not as easy as it sounds. Call us for some realistic advice on your matter.

Key stages for a guilty plea

We will meet with you, consider the evidence and advise on the likely sentence and then represent you at court. We will then discuss the outcome with you after the case.
The fee will not include obtaining expert or other witness statements to assist your case, advice and assistance on a special reasons or exceptional hardship hearing or advice on an appeal.

How much will it cost?

Costs will vary depending upon the circumstances of your case but typically the fees will range from £650 to £1,000 + VAT depending on the circumstances and where the case will be heard and we will discuss this with you when you first come to see us.
Timescales will again depend on the facts of the case and when your case is listed with the court. Typically it will take between 2 and 6 months to complete dependent upon when the case is listed by the court.
You should be aware that legal aid is not generally available for motoring offences, unless they are of the more serious kind. We can advise you on whether you may be eligible when we first meet.

For more information about how we could help you, please get in touch below.