If you have failed or refused to provide a specimen of breath or blood at the police station or roadside, you commit the offence unless you can show that you had a ‘reasonable excuse.’

A ‘reasonable excuse’ must show either a physical or mental inability which prevented you from providing a specimen. Examples of such an inability are respiratory problems or mental health issues which cause panic attacks. Panic attacks can cause a shortness of breath and, as a consequence, make it more difficult for you to provide specimens of breath. A phobia of needles provides a defence to failing to provide blood, as do religious beliefs. In order to substantiate your claim, it is important to enlist the support and opinion of a professional. A doctor or psychiatrist can be appointed to give their professional opinion to confirm your assertion.

What are the punishments for failing to provide a specimen?

Refusing to provide a specimen of breath at the roadside carries a fine of up to £1000, 4 penalty points and discretionary disqualification.

If you fail to provide a specimen at the police station the punishment is a fine of up to £5000 and disqualification for a minimum of 12 months. More often than not the disqualification period will be between 18 and 24 months but each case will be judged on its own facts. If you have been convicted of another alcohol related driving offence within the last 10 years, the minimum disqualification period rises to 3 years.

In serious cases of this nature community based penalties can be imposed and in extreme circumstances custodial sentences are considered.

This area of the law is extremely complex and specialist representation is essential. The offence of failing to provide a specimen is taken very seriously and the penalties you face are as severe as if you were convicted of drink-driving. CM Solicitors are experts in this area of motoring law and we have represented a large number of clients in such cases, with a great deal of success.

For a no-obligation discussion about your case please contact David Seligman on 0800 1444 111, or email him at davidseligman@cmsolicitors.co.uk. Alternatively, please complete our online form and one of our criminal defence lawyers will be in touch with you within 24 hours.