If you have been arrested and/or charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath/blood or urine, it is extremely important that you obtain specialist advice and representation from a lawyer with experience as well as the expertise to represent you from the outset. Our lawyers have years of experience defending these specific types of allegations as well as expert witnesses who are able to provide evidence of whether or not you had a reasonable excuse for failing to provide the specimen required.

What is failing to provide a Specimen?

Section 7 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that in the course of an investigation into whether a person has committed an offence, a constable may require you to provide two specimens of breath, or a specimen of blood or urine. The requirement may be made at a police station or a hospital depending on the circumstances.

Failure to Provide – the consequences

Failing to provide a specimen for analysis without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence, and the penalties range from a means tested fine of up to £5000, a community order or a custodial sentence together with a mandatory disqualification from driving, the minimum period being 12 months unless you have been convicted of a similar drink related offence in the last 10 years, in which case the minimum period increases to 3 years.

You are only guilty of failing to provide if you did not have a reasonable excuse for not providing the specimen, but if you are able to show, supported by expert evidence, that you had a genuine reason for failing to provide, then a charge for this offence does not always lead to a conviction.

There are several genuine reasons which may constitute a reasonable excuse such as:

  • A physical injury
  • A medical reason such as Asthma, COPD or Long COVID
  • A mental health condition such as anxiety or panic attacks
  • A learning Difficulty

Any of the above, either pre-existing or brought on as a result of the circumstances of the situation you face may constitute a ‘Reasonable Excuse’

Legal representation

Whilst you are entitled to legal advice at the police station, the evidential procedure for obtaining a specimen of breath, blood or urine will not be delayed for you to speak to a solicitor. If you have been charged with an offence of this nature, it is extremely important that you obtain advice and assistance at the earliest opportunity as CCTV evidence showing the procedure at the station is only retained for 28 days.

Contact us today for more information and an initial free confidential discussion with one of our motoring law experts on 0161 930 5151 or email crimeandregulatoryteam@gorvins.com

Alternatively please complete the contact form on this page and we will contact you as soon as possible.

If your call is out of normal office hours please call 07843 978201 and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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