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  • Failing to provide a specimen for analysis

    Failing to provide - the offence

    Breath test machine

    In certain circumstances the police can require you to provide a specimen of breath for analysis to find out whether you are over the drink drive limit.

    Surprisingly, the police do not have to prove that you were in charge of a motor vehicle, but they do have to prove that they had reasonable grounds for requiring you to provide a breath sample and that you failed or refused to provide a sample of breath.

    Sentence for failing to provide

    The sentence depends on whether you were actually driving or not.

    Failing to provide a sample of breath when you are known to have been driving will result in a driving ban, a fine of up to £5,000 and a maximum of 6 months in prison.

    Failing to provide while not driving carries a maximum sentence of 3 months in prison, 10 penalty points and the risk of a driving ban as well as a fine of up to £2,500.

    Winning a failing to provide trial

    Our solicitors take a thorough approach to defending clients accused of failing to provide. Our solicitors will consider whether there are weaknesses in the prosecution case that your solicitor can exploit. In many cases a technical error can lead to you being found not guilty.

    The next step is to consider what defences are available to you. You will have a defence if you were unable to provide a sample for analysis. Your inability may result from a medical condition or maybe for some other reason, e.g. you did not understand what was being required of you. In one case, our solicitors successfully argued that being so drunk that our client could not understand the procedure was a defence to failure to provide. That client was found not guilty.

    Avoiding a driving ban

    Special reasons

    When the court is required to ban you from driving our solicitors will argue that there are special reasons that are unique to your case that stop the court banning you.

    When the court does not have to ban you but does have to impose penalty points, our solicitors will look to argue that special reasons prevent the court from imposing the penalty point. This can be very important if you are at risk of accumulating 12 or more points and being disqualified under the totting up provisions.Exceptional hardship

    If the court imposes penalty points that take you over the 12 point maximum, your solicitor will argue that the automatic driving ban would cause you, or somebody else, exceptional hardship. Successfully claiming exceptional hardship will allow you to continue driving with 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence!

    What should I do now?

    Being accused of a criminal offence is a stressful time and you may think that it's impossible to defend yourself or save your driving licence. We can review the case against you and give you our expert opinion on the strength of the evidence against, errors made by the prosecution, possible tactics to have prosecution evidence excluded, defences available and whether you can avoid penalty points if convicted. In 99.99% of cases we can provide this review quickly and cheaply so you can decide what to do once you have the full facts and not just the police's version.

    You are also welcome to call us and speak with an experienced solicitor about your case for some preliminary advice. Although your solicitor can only give basic advice on the telephone based on what you say you will get an idea of what can be done. There's nothing to pay until you decide to instruct us, so if you decide not to instruct as after speaking on the telephone then it won't cost you a penny.

    Feel free to give us a call now on 020 8242 4440 To discuss your options. Or you can send an email via our contact us page.

    Recent cases

    R v TM – client was charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath following a collision involving his vehicle. He was not present at the scene of the crash and was found by police at home in bed. We made representations to the Crown based on their evidence identifying him as the driver as well as debating whether the police officers were genuinely engaged in an investigation allowing them to require a specimen of breath given the circumstances in which TM was found. The Crown Prosecution Service accepted our representations and discontinued the case against our client.

    R v AB - We represented AB who was accused of failing to provide a specimen for analysis at the police station. We successfully argued that the police officer had not explained the procedure properly and thus our client had not understood the requirement for him to provide. He was acquitted and an order allowing him to recover his legal costs was made.