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Failing to Provide a Specimen

Have you been arrested and given a court date for an allegation of failing to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine in the police station?

Contact Just Motor Law today to discover how we can help you defend your right to drive.

So what does the law actually say?
  • If the police are investigating whether you have been drink driving, drunk in charge, unfit through drink or drugs or in charge when unfit through drink and drugs, then you can be legally required to provide specimens of breath, blood or urine
  • If you fail to properly provide a sample or refuse to do so without reasonable excuse then you are guilty of the offence
What are the penalties:
  • If you are convicted of failing to provide a specimen where you were driving or attempting to drive, the consequences can be very serious as this is an offence that carries mandatory disqualification. The sentence can range from a fine of up to £5000, through to a community sentence such as unpaid work in the community, an electronically monitored curfew, or can carry up to 6 months imprisonment for the most serious offenders
  • You would be disqualified for a minimum of 12 months
  • The minimum disqualification increases to 3 years if you have a previous relevant conviction within the last 10 years
  • If you are convicted of failing to provide a specimen where you were found to be in charge of the vehicle (or even where you were found not to have been in charge, nor driving nor attempting to drive the vehicle) carries a Discretionary disqualification or 10 penalty points and up to 3 months imprisonment (unless Special Reasons apply)
  • If you are a new driver and are sentenced to 10 penalty points, then your licence would be revoked and you would have to retake your test. Retaking your test is a costly exercise. You may also need extra lessons before you felt comfortable putting in for it again
  • Your job may be at risk if you are banned from driving
  • Undoubtedly, your insurance premiums would rocket following a period of disqualification
  • You will have a criminal record that will only become spent after the time scales set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.  Consequently, if required you will have to inform your employers or future employers of this conviction during those time scales
If you need your driving licence then everything is at stake if you are convicted of this offence. You need the experts to help you fight the case at every stage! At Just Motor Law we pride ourselves on contesting each case with the greatest tenacity, with the aim of you being found not guilty.

Do you have a defence?
  • The police must carefully follow all of the correct procedures. We will scrutinise the procedures they followed in your case and if there are any failures on their part then we will aim to exploit them to challenge the allegation
  • You have a defence if you have a reasonable excuse for failing or refusing to provide a sample
  • What can be a reasonable excuse is a matter of law and we have a detailed knowledge of the complex case law in this area and will be able to advise you on the facts of your particular case. A reasonable excuse must arise out of a physical or mental inability to provide a sample or a substantial risk to health in its provision. You would nearly always need medical evidence to support this defence
Examples of what can be a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a sample:
  • A genuine phobia of putting your mouth on the breath test device mouthpiece for fear of catching AIDS
  • Not having the lung capacity or physical ability to blow sufficiently hard and long to provide a specimen which the device was able to analyse
  • Where you were so afraid of needles that you are incapacitated from giving blood
  • Where the threatening behaviour of the police caused mental anguish and despite your best efforts, rendered you incapable of providing a specimen
What can be done if you are found guilty or plead guilty to failing to provide a specimen?

Our team are experts at preparing your mitigation so that you are in the best position to receive the lightest possible sentence in all of the circumstances. We understand the guidelines inside and out that the Courts will apply when sentencing you and will help you in presenting any evidence that will allow the Magistrates to deal with you with more leniency.

How can you avoid the mandatory disqualification?

We know what types of situations can lead to a successful Special Reasons argument. We will discuss your case and all of the circumstances with you in detail and advise you when this is an argument that can be put forward on your behalf in an aim to protect your driving licence.

We will ensure that your case is prepared thoroughly for the Special Reasons argument. The onus is upon you to establish that there are Special Reasons and we will attend court with you and present the most forceful representations on your behalf. We will present the complex case law where appropriate that deals with different circumstances where Special Reasons are found for the court. Our team are experts in presenting this argument to the Court and have a proven track record in persuading the Court they should not ban in these circumstances. 

An example that can amount to Special Reasons not to disqualify or endorse penalty points for failing to provide a specimen is where we can persuade the Court that:
  • You had no intention of driving the vehicle, and
  • Could not have been a danger on the road
Remember, there is alwasy something that we can do to help and with Just Motor Law you will not face this stressful and complex situation alone.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch with the team now for FREE initial advice on your case and how we can help you.