Preliminary Issues in Any Failing to Provide Case

  1. Though the police may stop any vehicle they cannot randomly insist that you, as driver, provide a roadside specimen. They can only force you (and you will face arrest if you refuse), to provide a roadside test upon “reasonable grounds”. If you shows signs of being under the influence of drink or drugs; been involved in an accident; etc., then this will give the officer the opportunity to state that he had “reasonable grounds” for demanding a roadside sample from you. Whether such reasonable grounds existed in the first place, may result in an attack, at any later trial, upon the integrity of the officer concerned.
  2. The roadside breath or saliva test is purely for screening purposes; DOES NOT prove that you were over the drink or drug driving limit. To prove that you were, the police must (normally) take you to a police station and obtain a separate sample from you; be that breath, blood or urine.
  3. When taking samples, the police MUST follow procedures strictly: if they do not then this may lead to an automatic acquittal. If the error is noticed by your lawyer, and brought to the attention of the prosecution, then the case would normally be dropped without too much fuss. This presupposes that your lawyer spots the error in the first place!
  4. Contrary to what you may have heard, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to speak to a lawyer before being required to provide specimens at the police station. For you to tell the police that you will only provide after you have spoken to a lawyer, would be a major mistake; leading inevitably to being charged. It might have been the case that you were under the limit. By refusing to provide a sample, all you will have achieved is to have landed yourself with a totally unnecessary charge; a possible criminal conviction (followed by a minimum ban of 12 months – probably more), and in some cases, a period of imprisonment of up to 6 months.