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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I have been charged with failure to provide a specimen for

Customer Question

I have been charged with failure to provide a specimen for analysis ( drink drive).
However, I did provide a sample at the roadside, and I also provided a specimen on the machine at the station, but the machine malfunctioned.
Consequently, I was put in a cell to await a medical professional to take a blood sample. I got naked in my cell and went to sleep. I was awoken when the medic arrived, and consented to a blood test, however the medic refused to take my blood due to being female and wasn't comfortable with my nakedness.
Surely, given that I have showed willingness to provide specimens, and they have failed to collect, surely this won't stand up in court???
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.

Where are you alleged to have failed? Roadside or police station?

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
And why were you naked in a police cell?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

In my previous response, I mentioned that I was unsure how long the wait would be, it was early hours of the morning, and I wanted to sleep, and I sleep naked.

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
OK.

So the failure to supply is the blood sample - is that correct?

Did they ask you to put your clothes on?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes that is correct. Provided as sample at roadside, and on station machine, consented to blood test, only for the medic to refuse to take it.


I was asked to get dressed, and refused as I saw no relevance to my clothed state. Would have happily put my arm through the hatch on cell door so she didn't have to see me but was not offered this


 

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Ok understood.

Finally have you ever been prosecuted for drink drive offences?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I was prosecuted for drunk in charge in may 2011. pleaded guilty on solicitors advice, and was handed 10 penalty points on my licence and a £200 fine. I had 3 points on my licence already but avoided a ban due to exceptional circs, namely a disabled brother who relied on me as a driver on his disability vehicle.

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
OK.

The issue is whether your failure to provide the sample of blood amounts to a "reasonable excuse". This is a matter of fact for the Magistrates to decide at the trial if you plead not guilty.

The prosecution has the burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. But once you raise the issue of reasonable excuse it is then down to you prove your defence on the balance of probabilities e.g. that it's more likely than not that your excuse is a reasonable one.

There is no specific case law mirroring the facts of your case but the usual position is the courts will usually not accept anything other than a medical reason e.g. needle phobia, haemophilia.

Being naked in police cell is unlikely to go in your favour. Refusal to clothe yourself will also go against you. The fact that you blew positive at the roadside is also unhelpful.

You can certainly argue that you have a reasonable excuse e.g. that you were cooperative and consented. But the deliberate refusal to comply with getting clothes so that a sample could be taken by a female medic is likely to be seen as a refusal.
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am following up our conversation to see how you got on with the issue. Please remember to take a moment to rate my answer.

If you need any further help then please let me know - remember I am a qualified UK Solicitor and able to help on most aspects of English Law. I am London based and usually able to respond to your query very quickly.

Regards
Alex Hughes

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