Failing to provide a specimen for analysis

Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis

If the police suspect that you have committed an offence related to drink driving, they can request you to provide two samples of breath, blood or urine. If you fail to provide the specimens requested without reasonable excuse you are liable to be charged with ‘Failing to provide a specimen for analysis’.   

This is punishable with:

  1. Unlimited fine
  2. Up to 6 months custody
  3. Must disqualify for minimum 12 months
  4. If not able to impose a driving ban must endorse licence 

This is considered a serious offence and the sentence of minimum 12-month disqualification and an unlimited fine, if convicted, clearly reflects this.  

In some instances, a person may not be able to provide the sufficient amount of breath for analysis due to shortness of breath or other medical conditions, such as asthma, and the use of certain medications may make it difficult for a person to blow into the machine for a sufficient period of time.  Although such circumstances have been considered as a ‘reasonable excuse’ it will need to be substantiated by medical evidence in all cases.

Please note that if you wish to put forward any such condition as a defence, you will need expert evidence to substantiate your claim. 

If you wish to discuss any of the issues relating to this offence, please contact our road traffic solicitors on 0208 577 5491.

Following Drink related offence codes: will stay on licence for 11 years from date of conviction

Code                                Offence                                                                Points 

DR10           Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit         3- 11
DR20           Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink                3- 11
DR30           Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen    3- 11
                  for analysis                                                                                 

Defences/Mitigation in Drink/Drugs/Driving cases:

On occasions it may not be possible to disprove the allegation of drink drive, but it may be possible to persuade the Magistrate that there are ‘special reasons’ why you should not be disqualified or to minimise the period of disqualification.

Whilst not being exhaustive, you may argue that the ‘special reasons’ exist for one of the following reasons:

  • Spiked drinks– in this case,  you will need to show that your drink had been      spiked by  another person, you were not aware of it and you did not suspect your drink was spiked and,  if your drink had not been spiked, the level of alcohol in your blood would not have exceeded the prescribed limit.
  • Extremely short distance driven - this may be taken as a special reason if you can show that as the distance was so short that you were unlikely to come into contact with other road users and there would have been no danger 
  • Genuine emergency – e.g.; medical emergency, it would be necessary to show that you had looked at any alternatives to driving and there was none available making it necessary for you to drive
  • Medication- the medication that you take may have had the effect of increasing your blood alcohol readings

Please note that if you argue ‘special reasons’ you must prove on the balance of probabilities that they do exist. You or your solicitor cannot simply assert them and you are required to provide evidence.

Where a driver is disqualified for 12 months or more in respect of an alcohol-related driving offence, the court may order that the period of disqualification will be reduced if the offender satisfactorily completes an approved ‘Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course’.   it may reduce the disqualification period by a quarter. e.g.: one-year ban reduced to nine months.

If you wish to discuss your defences or any special reasons please contact our motoring offences solicitors at 0208 577 5491 when we can guide you on the evidence that you will be required to put forward.