The police are able to request a specimen should they suspect you have driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Failure to give the police a proper sample is a separate criminal offence and unless you can prove that you had a reasonable excuse not to provide a sample, you could face severe penalties including an unlimited fine, a driving ban and a sentence of imprisonment.
What is a reasonable excuse?
There are a number of reasonable excuses as to why a breath, blood or urine sample could not be provided which may be put forward as a defence, including:
- Asthma, reduced lung capacity, anxiety and panic attacks
- Genuine phobia of needles
- Prostate problems
- The police have not followed the appropriate procedures
To successfully put forward a reasonable excuse defence you will need the assistance of a specialist road traffic defence solicitor who will seek expert medical evidence to support your case.
Drink Driving - Driving with Excess Alcohol
The police can stop anyone if they think they may be driving with too much alcohol in their body. If stopped, the driver will be asked to take a breathalyser test to measure the amount of alcohol in their breath. If the test is positive, the driver will be arrested and taken to a police station for further tests – possibly involving blood and urine.
What is driving with excess alcohol?
The legal alcohol limit for drivers in England and Wales is:
- 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath
- 80 milligrammes in 100 millilitres of blood
- 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine
However it is not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit. Your alcohol level depends upon many factors including:
- weight, age, gender and metabolism
- type and amount of alcohol consumed
- eating patterns
- stress levels
Drink Driving penalties
If you are convicted of failure to provide a specimen or driving with excess alcohol the penalties are:
- Disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months
- Prison sentence of up to six months
- An unlimited fine
In turn the consequences of this often include:-
- Job loss
- Loss of independence
- Shame of having a criminal conviction
- Trouble getting into countries like the USA
- Massive increase in car insurance costs, and some companies won’t insure you
The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) calculates that a drink drive conviction could cost up to £50,000 as a result.
If you have committed any other alcohol driving offences within the last ten years, this will result in a minimum three year disqualification from driving.
In these circumstances it is vital that you contact a lawyer who can help you build a strong case for defence so you stand the best chance of reducing your penalty.
Our dedicated team of driving offence solicitors will be able to guide you through the complexities involved with building a strong defence case. Our Yorkshire based lawyers have many years of experience in helping drivers facing allegations of driving with excess alcohol.
To speak to a lawyer about a d, please contact our offices based in Leeds, York and Sheffield by using the details below. If you require assistance immediately, contact our driving offence solicitors directly - for Meghan Waldron call 07469 859708 and for Jeremy Scott call 07971 520407.
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