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Failing to Disclose Drivers Details

I came across a website this week that frankly scared me.

A client has been charged with failing to disclose the drivers details following a speeding allegation.

He sent me this from a website run by a non solicitor –

Take the matter to court. Plead not guilty. The prosecution will outline its case and state that contrary to Section so and so of the Road Traffic Act 1988 you failed to supply such information etc. etc. After they have confirmed with their witness that you did not complete the form they will rest their case. You defence is simple. You state that supplying the required information is tantamount to a confession, and you are not obliged to confess to anything under the rule of Self incrimination. Threatening you with penalties if you do not confess is coercion and is therefore illegal. You can then rest your defence. If you are convicted of failing to supply the information inform the court you intend to appeal.

I wouldn’t bother with a solicitor, they will only cost you money.

This is so wrong and dangerous. It is talking about a situation that was changed over 5 years ago. It was thought for a very short period of time that you could refuse to give your name in response to a request attached to a Notice of Intended Prosecution. This was cleared up by the court and it is now law that if you do not give the name of the driver without reasonable cause (i.e. you do not know and cannot find out who was driving) then you are guilty of an offence of failing to disclose. This carries 6 points not the 3 for speeding.

I don’t know how many drivers have followed this advice and got themselves into a big mess.

Let me make it clear. The words above in red are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG and dangerous. They highlight why you should not trust non lawyers to give legal advice, it’s like letting your mate down the pub operate on your kidneys.

For proper legal advice call us anytime on 01623 397200

Failing to Provide a Sample, a Rare Defeat

I write a lot about my victories but rarely about losses. Partly because I don’t lose very often. This is a combination of being experienced and expert in my area but also I don’t run cases unless I think we have a chance of winning, I am always honest with the clients about their chances of success.

This week I did lose and even after 20 years I still hate losing, so much that it has taken me a while to write this blog. I needed to get some of the anger out of my system first.

My client was stopped for drink driving, he was not able to provide a road side test and was taken to the police station. We watched the video in court. The police officers gave the usual wrong legal advice ‘tell the court you will lose your job and you will get off with points and no ban!!’ This time however we had some unique incorrect legal advice from the oficer.

When my client explained that he was having trouble blowing into the machine because he was dehydrated he was told that it was against the law for the Police officer to give him a drink of water!!! WRONG AGAIN!

My client managed to provide one sample which was below the limit but could not give another sample. When asked why he couldn’t provide he said he was dehydrated but did not mention that he has a medical condition that causes dehydration.

The High Court stated that the CPS should not pursue cases in these circumstances, where the sample is below the limit. My client could not be guilty of drink driving but was charged with failing to provide. The police and the CPS both ignored the guidance from the High Court and charged my client; a family man with no previous convictions.

Worse still the court found him guilty, he was banned for 12 months for failing to provide a sample even though it was proved he was below the limit.

Is that really fair? Is that really a correct decision? I will not go into detail about my views on this suffice to say we appealed immediately.

Drink Drive Limits To Remain The Same.

The drink driving limit will remain the same but drivers will lose the right to ask for a blood test if they are only slightly over the limit.

These were the key points in the Government’s response to recommendations on road safety made by Sir Peter North.

The initial consultation recommended dropping the limit from 80 in blood to 50. This was rejected by the Government. It is not clear why the limit was not reduced and leaves the drink drive limit in the UK one of the highest in Europe.

The move to remove the right to a blood test is controversial. The machines used by the police to measure alcohol in a motorists breath are not reliable, certainly not as reliable as blood tests. Some commentators have suggested that this removes a loop hole whereby motorists can delay a blood test so that their alcohol reading drops. In my experience this isn’t the case. It is rather the case that motorists want to make sure that the reading is accurate.

It is open to the police to take a urine test instead of blood and this can be done immediately since it does not have to be taken by a Doctor so the suggesting of delaying it on purpose is nonsense.

Is there any connection with this removal of the right to an accurate blood test and the closing of the Forensic Science Service?

Surely the Government wouldn’t compromise justice just so that they can save money???

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