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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71144
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I would like some legal advice - Im afraid I did something

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Hi I would like some legal advice - I'm afraid I did something rather stupid on Tuesday evening. I don't know if I should outline the whole incident here, however, my question is in relation to not requiring a blood sample for suspected drink driving. However, I had without any objection given a breatherliser test and later had been given another breatherliser test (on a more complex machine) which for whatever reason did not work. I had not denied having been drinking, or refused to be breatherlised but although I was parked in a small private residential car park - it was there I had started drinking (wine)- I cannot categorically prove that that was the case. In fact, I didn't object to the blood test, but when the officer read out to me what ever was on the form that I was required to sign, I said, I didn't understand what I was signing - and if he could explain or clarify it for me - ( to my mind it would have only taken a 2/5mins ) He stated just sign it which I reluctantly did, but went to further add under my signature that I was unclear what I was signing for - this was duly responded or viewed by the officer/s as delaying tactics or refusing to comply. I have NEVER been in this situation before, and this is all new to me. I am 52yrs of age Welsh female, driving since I was 17. It was 6-7hours about 2ish am before I saw a duty solicitor and I haven't yet been able to get hold of him. Now I'm up in court. That said at around 4am the same morning two police officers drove me to my car, gave me another breatherliser (no prob) and handed me my keys to drive home. What's all this about? Will I lose my licence? Thankyou

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

So you are charged with drink driving or failing to provide?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

when suspected of having driven a vehicle and having been required to provide a specimen of blood for a laboratory test...failed without reasonable excuse to do so...


You seem to accept not providing a specimen?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I was happy to provide a specimen but I had to sign to do so, and I didn't understand what the officer read out to me - I ask for clarification that's all - they/didn't so I signed for consent but went to add in writing that I wasn't altogether clear about what I was signing for this was deemed delaying tactics and refusal



So you didn't provide a specimen?

I am sorry to put you under pressure but I used to a police station rep and I have witnessed the police perform this procedure many times. Its all a script and it uses very basic language so there isn't really any room for confusion unless there are linguistic difficulties.

The custody suites of most police stations are on CCTV with audio and visual recording facilities.

There really isn't anything confusing about this procedure.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok, but yes I was confused, the script may be basic but it was a script I d never heard before. basically then what sort of outcome can I expect from this?



OK. Its helpful to know what we are facing.

How did this come to the attention of the police? How were you caught originally?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had driven 6miles ish from my home to where my partner of 4years was residing - there was no quarrel we were in constant contact and civil however, I wanted to talk to him not text or phone to say that whatever contact we had I wished it to stop - there was no malice etc on the way down to his place I stopped and bought a bottle of wine. I knew he would unlikely to be there but thought I'd wait. I parked and proceeded to drink the blinking wine, initially to just take a few swigs for dutch courage - it was a while and I got more workedup and upset I drank over half the bottle, it was warm and eventually got out the car and walked with my bottle and for some silly silly reason I threw the bottle of wine and it smashed a window - the police were called. I did not deny anything, infact all I could say was 'I didn't mean to do it'.



Its difficult to tell on these facts which category this falls into. I think they will probably be saying that you deliberately refused to provide. You might be able to convince the bench that you did so for a genuinely held but unreasonable objection.

In terms of the actual sentence it will probably be either a fine or a low level community order. Whichever bracket this falls into, its not the worst offence of its kind.

However, I'm afraid there is a mandatory ban I'm afraid. If its the lower bracket then it will be 12-16 months. If its the higher the 17 - 22 months.

Do not drive to court. They will put you on an interim ban even if they don't sentence on that day.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, at around 3-30am two officers drove me to my car breathalysed me which was fine, and handed me my car key to drive myself home. so does this mean I can now/still drive before going to court. and is there any way I can prove that I was not, had not been drinking and driving? and is there any appeal procedure?


Oh yes, you are not on a ban now.

The issue isn't whether you were drinking and driving now.

The issue is whether you provided a specimen of breath and you did not.

There is an appeal. You can appeal within 21 days of sentence to the Crown court but its only worth doing if you have a defence.

You could try to argue that they didn't follow proper procedure as you didnt understand but its a very low chance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But I DID provide a specimen of breath as soon as I was asked to - which came out at around 92, furthermore I provided a second specimen of breath with no hesitation,, but the second time the machine didn't work - not my doing. It was the blood test which seems to be the problem. So might any of this work in my favour? sorry to labour this I simply need to know what the law requires.

But you didn't provide the blood test.

Their problem was that the machine didn't work so they had to turn to the blood test. You did not provide a specimen of blood.
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