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Failure to provide a specimen

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Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, if the police have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they have the authority to request a specimen from you. This could be a roadside breathalyser test, or you may be asked to go to the police station to provide a blood or urine sample. Failing to provide a sample at the police station will result in a severe penalty.

If you've been stopped by the police and either refused or been unable to provide a specimen, you are breaking the law and could face charges for failing to provide a specimen. It is a criminal offence not to consent to providing a blood, urine or breath specimen test without a reasonable excuse.

If you are later convicted after failing to provide a specimen, the Court may reach the conclusion that you intentionally failed to cooperate and so the offence is taken as seriously as a drink or drug driving offence. The penalties for not providing a specimen can be serious so it is important to seek legal advice as early as possible.

If you have been asked to provide a specimen and failed to do so contact our expert motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or complete the contact form on this page.

Penalties for failure to provide a specimen

Failure to provide a specimen is a very serious offence, if you're found guilty of failing to provide a specimen, and are caught driving or attempting to drive, you could face a minimum 12 month driving disqualification, and/or a fine of up to £5,000, community service and worst-case scenario, up to six months imprisonment.

If you are found to be in charge of a vehicle and have failed to provide an evidential specimen you could receive 10 points on your licence, a discretionary disqualification, a fine of £2,500- or three-months imprisonment.

If you have a previous drink driving offence which took place over the past ten years, the penalties will be much higher, and disqualification can range from 36 months upwards.

Our specialist motoring offence solicitors will investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest to build up a strong case to get the best outcome possible.

Reasonable excuses for not providing a specimen

In some cases, reasonable excuses, such as a medical reason for not providing a specimen could be accepted. These could include:

  • Suffering from asthma or respiratory condition;
  • Phobia of needles;
  • Prostate problems or urinary tract infection;
  • Mental health condition.

If you do suffer from any of the medical conditions above, you will have to get the condition confirmed by a medical expert. If you successfully prove the medical condition, you may be acquitted.

If the police failed to follow the correct procedures, then the case could be dismissed. You must have been warned by the police that you could be prosecuted if you fail to provide a sample, if they have failed to inform you of this, the case can be challenged.

If you are under investigation for failing to provide a specimen, please contact our expert road traffic offence solicitors today on 01772 220 022.

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FAQs

What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyser test?
 
 

For failing to provide a specimen, after driving or attempting to drive, you could face a minimum 12 month driving disqualification, and/or a fine of up to £5,000, community service and worst-case scenario, up to six months imprisonment.

If you are found to be in charge of a vehicle and have failed to provide an evidential specimen you could receive 10 points on your licence or a discretionary ban, a fine of £2,500- or three-months imprisonment.

If you have a previous drink driving offence which took place over the past ten years, disqualification can range from 36 months up to 60 months.

For advice contact our expert motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022 or contact us by email.

Is failing to provide a specimen a criminal offence?
 
 

Yes, under the Road Traffic Act 1988, the police have authority to request a specimen if they have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you fail to do so, you are breaking the law and will face prosecution.

What is a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a specimen?
 
 

The police may consider a medical condition as a reasonable excuse not to provide a specimen. This can include conditions such as:

  • Suffering from asthma or respiratory condition;
  • Phobia of needles;
  • Prostate problems or urinary tract infection;
  • Suffering from a mental health condition.

If the medical condition can be confirmed by a doctor, you will be acquitted however if you are unable to obtain proof you will face prosecution.

You could also challenge the case if the police have failed to follow the correct procedures. The police must have warned you that you could be prosecuted for failing to provide a specimen, if they have failed to inform you of this the, the case could be dismissed.

If you are under investigation for failing to provide a specimen, please contact our expert road traffic offence solicitors today on 01772 220 022.

Can I still be charged with failing to provide a specimen if I have asthma?
 
 

Yes, you could still be charged. You would have to prove that the asthma meant you couldn't take a deep enough breath to activate the machine or you suffered an attack trying to provide a sample.

I was unable to provide a breath sample. Will I be charged with failure to provide a specimen?
 
 

If you are unable to provide a breath sample, this will be considered a fail and as a result you're likely to be charged with failure to provide a specimen unless you are able to prove you have a genuine medical reason which prevented you from doing so. This will have to be confirmed by a medical expert.

For advice contact our expert motoring offence solicitors on 01772 220 022.

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Our dedicated Motoring Offences team

David Scully

David Scully

Senior Associate

Crime

PinChorley

Call07976 255000

Gareth Price

Gareth Price

Partner

Crime

PinBlackburn

Call07976 272000

Simon Gretton

Simon Gretton

Partner

Crime

PinPreston

Call01257 260600

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