I was reminded this weekend of the important difference between drink driving and failing to provide a specimen.
I took a call on Easter Sunday from someone who had found me on the internet. He had been charged with failing to provide a specimen, having been arrested originally for drink driving.
He was in a predicament and wanted to tell me his story.
He was at a family function, he was staying the night and had popped out to his car to get some CD’s for the party, as he got into the car to get the CD’s the police arrived and arrested him for drink driving. He was taken to the police station and ultimately kept for 8 hours. He was understandably annoyed that he had been arrested when he had not done anything wrong, he had not had chance to tell anyone where he had gone and no doubt people were worrying about him.
He felt he had been treated badly, heavy handed and arrested unfairly. He said that he thought the police had no case against him in relation to drink driving because he had not driven the car, nor was he going to until the following morning.
I agreed with him that he appeared to have a good defence to drink driving or to being drunk in charge. Then he explained that because he knew he had not committed an offence he refused to give a sample.
That’s where it all started to go wrong and I had to give him the bad news that he did not have a defence to failing to provide a sample and that he would be banned from driving.
He did not believe that this could be the case and this is a mistake that many people make. It was really hard to explain to this man, a decent guy who had done nothing wrong that he was going to lose his licence and consequently his job.
It is so important that people remember the difference between drink driving and failing to provide a sample. If you have a defence to drink driving it is essential that you give a sample, it would not have mattered in this case what the reading was. If he had been 5 times over the limit the police would still have to prove that he was in charge of the car. He would have a defence simply by showing that he was not intending to drive until such time as his alcohol level was below the legal limit. He would have had plenty of witnesses who would say that he was staying the night and that he had only gone to get a CD. All of this is irrelevant to a charge of failing to provide a specimen. He wasn’t charged with drink driving or being drunk in charge of a car and by refusing to give a sample he had provided the police with an easy conviction.
The only thing he could do in this situation is to try and argue special reasons not to be disqualified.
For more advice call 01623 397200 or click Drink Drive SolicitorTags: drink driving defences, Failing to provide a specimen., Special reasons