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If you are accused of failure to provide a breath test, a urine sample or a blood sample, it is crucial that you seek legal advice from solicitors experienced in this area of law, as soon as possible. This way, your solicitor can ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
The courts will often view the failure to provide a breath test/urine sample as if the alleged offender had actually given a positive breath test result which showed that they had consumed too much alcohol to be driving a motor vehicle.
The consequences of this offence can be serious. It is vital that you have a solicitor on your side who specialises in this area of law and can help you to understand.
Section 6 (6) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that:
“A person commits an offence if without reasonable excuse he fails to cooperate with a preliminary test in pursuance of a requirement imposed under this section.”
If the police have reasonable grounds to suspect that you are driving (or in charge of) a motor vehicle after having consumed too much alcohol, you may be asked to provide a breath sample at the side of the road.
If this breath sample is positive, you would normally be arrested.
If you fail to provide a specimen of your breath at the roadside, you could be committing an offence and the police may arrest you. If you are arrested, the police will take you back to the police station where they will ask you to provide an evidential sample of breath. Failure to provide a breath test at this stage, without reasonable excuse (see below), will probably result in you being charged with an offence.
However, failure to provide a breath test is not an offence in all circumstances. It is the failure to provide a breath test when requested without reasonable excuse which is an offence.
If you are unable to provide a breath sample, for medical reasons, for example, the police may ask you to provide a urine sample or a blood sample instead.
It is the police who decide which sample – urine or blood – will be used instead of the breath test.
Of course, it is a doctor who will take a blood sample, if necessary.
Again, failure to provide a urine sample or a blood sample (without reasonable excuse), may result in you being charged.
Yes. The courts will often view the failure to provide a breath test/urine sample as if the alleged offender had actually given a positive breath test result which showed that they had consumed too much alcohol to be driving a motor vehicle.
Therefore, failure to provide a breath test/urine sample can result in the same driving penalties as being convicted of drunk driving.
In fact, in some circumstances, the courts will regard the fact that the alleged offender failed to give a breath sample as more serious than if they had provided a sample which was positive. This is due to the fact that the court can, in some circumstances, conclude that the failure to provide a breath test/urine sample was on purpose, in order not to provide the police with what could have been an extremely high result.
Of course, as we touched on above, there may be occasions when there was a good reason why a breath test/urine sample could not be provided. As a result, this is a very complex area of law, which is why it is crucial to ensure that you seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in drunk driving offences.
If you were not warned that failure to provide a breath test/urine sample is an offence, this may stop you from being convicted.
This is why it is critical to seek legal advice as early on as possible.
If you had a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a breath test, this could be a defence.
What equals a reasonable excuse for failure to provide a breath test/urine sample is a matter of law.
A medical reason for failure to provide a breath test could be a reasonable excuse. For example, if you have asthma, this could be regarded as a reasonable excuse for failure to provide a breath test.
If someone has a physical or mental incapacity which meant that they could not provide a breath sample, or did not understand they had to do so, this could be regarded as a reasonable excuse in the eyes of the law.
If the person did not understand that they had to provide a breath sample due to their inability to understand the English language, this could be viewed as a reasonable excuse.
It is worth mentioning here that while a medically diagnosed phobia of needles could amount to a reasonable excuse with regards to failure to provide a blood sample, simply not liking or being fearful of needles would not be a reasonable excuse.
No, not agreeing to provide a sample due to wanting to seek legal advice from a solicitor is not a reasonable excuse for failure to provide a breath test/urine sample.
If you are convicted of failure to provide a breath test, you will be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 12 months. Often, the driving disqualification in these circumstances can be 18 months or even longer.
Anyone who has been convicted of another drug or drink driving offence in the past ten years, will be banned from driving for at least three years.
In addition to being disqualified from driving, you could also receive a fine, a community order or even a prison sentence of up to 6 months.
If you are convicted of failure to provide a breath test/urine sample, the consequences can be serious.
As a result, it is vital that you have a solicitor on your side who specialises in this area of law and can help you to understand whether the reason you did not provide a breath test/urine sample when it was requested, could amount to a reasonable excuse – and therefore a defence – in the eyes of the law.
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