Failing to Provide a Sample, a Rare Defeat - Forrest Williams - Forrest Williams Failing to Provide a Sample, a Rare Defeat - Forrest Williams

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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.

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