The police have the power to request a specimen for analysis from anyone they suspect of having committed certain road traffic offences.
A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, they fail or refuse to provide a specimen when lawfully required to do so.
The requirement to provide the specimen exists even if the person has not in fact committed one of the relevant offences. The police simply must suspect that they have.
The allegation of failure to provide can relate to specimens of breath, blood or urine. The requirement to provide could occur at the roadside, the police station or even at a hospital following an accident.
If you can satisfy the Court that you had a reasonable excuse for failing to provide you could have a defence. The following may amount to a reasonable excuse:
- Fear of needles
- Medical condition that prevents a person from providing a sample of breath
- Trying as hard as physically able to provide the specimen
- Not understanding the procedure and the warning about prosecution for failing to provide. This could occur due to a person not understanding English.
Penalties for failing to provide a specimen range from a fine to 6 months imprisonment. In addition, there will be a minimum disqualification of 12 months.
If you have been charged with or reported for an offence Legal Aid may be available.
Hewitts Solicitors are specialists in offences of failing to provide a specimen for analysis. We can advise on possible defences as well as putting forward a strong case on your behalf.
To find out more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us for free initial no obligation advice. We are available 24/7, Freephone 0800 304 7740.