Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Drink driving charges: circumstances for defence

Consideration has been given for the editing and publishing of this post

You might think that being charged with drink driving means you will definitely be disqualified but you might be wrong. There may be a valid defence to your charge. However, you’ll need to make sure you contact a professional, such as those at http://drinkdrivesolicitor.com if you want to avoid conviction and keep your driving licence.

The ins and outs of drink driving charges can be difficult for people to navigate, but with the right instruction, you could find out that a charge could be defended.

So, what are some of the most common defences?

1. Failure to provide a specimen?

One of the most commonly contested charges is failure to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. This covers a situation where a person has been required to provide breath at the police station but has not been able to satisfy the requirements of the breath testing machine.

There are different machines used for obtaining breath specimens in England and Wales. These are the Lion Intoxilyser 6000, the Intoximeter EC/IR and the Camic Datamaster, and while each device measures a sample in a similar way, the requirements each machine needs to register a sample are different. Officers are not trained in relation to the different requirements of each machine meaning it could be the instructions given that resulted in the failure not the person accused.

If you have a lung problem which severely restricts your ability to breathe then you could have been unable to meet the requirements of the machine. The police have the power to require blood or urine instead but do not always do so. This could result in the dismissal of the charge against you warrants further discussion with your solicitor.

2. An error in procedure

With such strict and yet differing policies from place to place, errors in procedure can be fairly common. This occurs regularly where the police require specimens whilst the person accused is at a hospital, for example, where they are being treated following an accident

At hospital, only blood and urine specimens can be required for subsequent analysis at a laboratory. This means that the procedure to be followed is more complicated than at the police station and the scope for arguing that it has not been followed correctly is normally greater. The police must also ensure that the person from whom they are requiring samples is in a position to provide valid consent. If a head injury has been sustained this may not be the case and the sample could be ruled inadmissible by the Court. Similarly, if a person has not provided consent to the provision of a blood sample but was not in a position to fully understand the requirement they would be entitled to be found not guilty of the charge.

3. Faulty equipment

As with any machine used to provide evidence and scientific analysis, there is always the potential for it to give an incorrect reading. There has been a great deal of debate in relation to whether electromagnetic waves from mobile phones and police radios can interfere with the result of a breath test. Similarly, anomalies with the calibration of machines may be identified If you are surprised by a reading given (click here for drink driving limits), and feel strongly that the machine may have been faulty then your solicitor can help you to build a case for this.


The vital consideration with each of these circumstances is that you contact an expert drink driving solicitor as soon as possible. Have you had any experience of drink driving charges recently? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

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