Failure to Provide a Specimen

Charged with Failure to Provide a Specimen? Find out more about how we can help with your case below



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Failure to Provide a Specimen

If the police have reasonable suspicion to believe that you have been driving or have been in charge of a motor vehicle whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit then they are entitled under the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 6 to require you to provide a preliminary specimen of breath for analysis.

The result of this specimen does not provide sufficient evidence for the police to charge you with drink driving or being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle but a failure to provide the specimen without reasonable excuse is an offence with severe penalties and potentially devastating consequences for you and your family.

If a positive preliminary breath specimen is provided or if a specimen can’t be given due to a faulty breathalyzer or you have a reasonable excuse for not providing a specimen of breath then the police have the power to detain you and take you to the police station. Once at the police station they are entitled under the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 7(6) to require you to provide two specimens of breath via the intoximeter machine. If the intoximeter machine is not operational, faulty or you have a reasonable excuse for not providing a specimen of breath the police are entitled to require you to provide a specimen of blood or urine.

The results from any of the specimens taken at the police station along with other evidence can be sufficient for the police to charge you and the Crown & Procurator Fiscal to prosecute you for drink driving or being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

The only defence to either a failure to provide a preliminary breath specimen or a specimen at the police station is that you have a reasonable excuse. There is no defined test as to what constitutes a reasonable excuse but the court’s set a very high standard and so only genuine medical conditions which prevent a specimen being generally meet that test.

However, if you feel that you cooperated with the police and followed their instructions but have been charged with failure to provide a specimen despite your best efforts to comply then only the services of an specialist road traffic solicitor will give you the level of representation in court required to get the successful outcome you deserve.

The Penalties of Failing to Provide a Specimen

The respective penalties for these offences are as follows:-

  1. Section 6 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – Discretionary disqualification or the imposition of 4 penalty points.
  2. Section 7(6) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – Mandatory minimum disqualification of 12 months if driving. Discretionary disqualification or the imposition of 10 penalty points where the accused was in charge of the vehicle.

With the court having some discretion in relation to sentencing in these case you need not lose your driving licence but it is important that if you are to achieve this that you have the expertise and experience of a specialist road traffic lawyer. We are accustomed to dealing with these cases on a regular basis and have an outstanding track record. We will guide you through the whole process provide you with a bespoke and comprehensive plea in mitigation to ensure the best possible outcome.

If you have been charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath contact us now and get a free consultation from our award winning road traffic lawyer, call 0141 465 3333 now!


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