The Law allows for the Police to request a specimen of breath (blood or urine) for analysis if they are investigating an offence of driving over the prescribed limit, driving whilst unfit through drink or being drunk in charge and that they have reason to suspect that you may have been driving the vehicle. Failure to provide a specimen for analysis is an offence.
What if I wasn’t the driver?
If you were not the driver, you should tell the Police that but more IMPORTANTLY, you should still provide the specimen when requested. A refusal to do so on the basis that you were not the driver is not a defence. In previous cases, giving the reason as not being the driver, has not been deemed a reasonable excuse.
What is a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a specimen for analysis?
A reasonable excuse for failing to provide a specimen for analysis has been held to be “an explanation which outlines why you were not able to provide a sample when requested to do so by the Police”. This must be more than not wanting to provide the sample and is commonly linked to medical or pyschological complaints. Expert advice is needed at an early stage to assess as to whether your excuse is a reasonable one or not.
What are the Penalties for failing to provide a specimen?
If convicted of failing to provide a specimen, the Court has to disqualify you from driving for an minimum mandatory period of 12 months and can impose a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months. The usual length of disqualification is 18 months and imprisonment is usually reserved to cases where there has been a deliberate refusal to provide the sample and there has been clear evidence of serious impairment.
If it is your 2nd conviction for a drink related offence (such as driving whilst over the prescribed limit, driving whilst unfit through drink or failing to provide a specimen) within a 10 year period, the minimum period of disqualification is 3 years.
If the request for a specimen relates to the suspicion of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle, then the penalty is 10 points or a disqualification and up to 3 months imprisonment.
What do I do now?
If you have been charged with failing to provide a specimen or are worried about your case, then contact us today, speak to Carl and see what he can do for you.