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18 year old son....

Stressedmum

New member
Hi, 18 yr old son was arrested around midnight on Sat night, sitting in his car with friends in a rural car park with engine running but car stationary. Breathalyser at scene and found to be ‘over limit ‘ but we have no idea of the reading. He admitted to us to drinking 2 cans of Fosters throughout the evening, he is a small build. He was taken into custody & provided 2 further breathtests at station the results of which varied so much they requested a blood test. ( no idea what the readings were) Doctor turned up to draw blood around 2am. Kept in cell all night & despite several panic attacks & asking for his parents to be contacted, Police refused. Duty solicitor appointed around 10 am Sunday morning & he was interviewed. Duty Sol advised him to give a no comment interview. We were finally called to collect him Sunday lunchtime - the first we heard of it. He was released under investigation - the alleged offence being ‘Drive motor vehicle when alcohol level above limit’. We were given a second blood sample but he wasn’t advised what to do with it.

Questions:
1. Should we definitely get the second blood sample sent away for independant testing ?( We are now aware of a leaflet he should have been given & the process to follow. )
2. How does he find out what the breathalyser results were?
3. As he was not found driving the car merely sitting in it, is the alleged offence incorrect?
4. Did the police deal with him correctly by not allowing him to contact his family due to his age - 18 yrs 4months & in a distressed state?
5. Assuming the blood results show excess alcohol, what is the likely outcome commensurate for his age and inexperience?

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I have answered each of your questions below, in turn:

1. A belt and braces approach would be to have the second sample tested to ensure that the result of the testing completed by the Police is accurate. However, it is entirely a matter for you whether you wish to test the second sample.

2. In the event that he is charged, the breath results will likely be contained within the initial evidence provided by the prosecution. However, given the steps taken by the Police, it seems that the result which he will be charged with (in the event he is charged with an offence) will be the result of the blood sample. Should the evidence provided by your son, namely a breath sample, have been deemed sufficient, the Police would have relied upon it and charged your son with an offence.

3. You are correct to raise this as a potential issue. The charge of excess alcohol (drive/attempt to drive) under section 5 (1)(a) requires a defendant to have driven the vehicle. Section 5 (1) (b) of the same act provides that a defendant can be charged with an offence if they are over the legal limit for alcohol and in charge of the vehicle. With this offence, there is no requirement for the Police to have evidence that your son had driven the vehicle whilst over the legal limit. Based upon the circumstances you have highlighted above, it seems that the more appropriate offence would be the ‘in charge’ offence instead of the drive/attempt to drive offence. However, it may be that the Police have other evidence which supports an allegation that your son had driven the vehicle.

4. In all criminal investigations, the police need to ensure that they comply fully with the codes set out by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, this includes the right to legal advice. However, the usual approach in relation to the right to legal advice (and a phone call) would be that the drink driving procedure and the obtaining of a specimen will not be delayed to allow for a defendant to obtain legal advice. However, there is case law that in certain circumstances the usual stance can be challenged.

The Police are under an obligation to monitor your son and ensure his wellbeing. As such, there are strict procedures that need to be followed. For instance, if the situation dictated so, your son should potentially have been given access to a health practitioner. In order to provide more information regarding any procedural issues, we would need to be formally instructed on your son’s case.

5. In terms of penalty, this will be dictated by which offence your son is charged with and the level of alcohol found within his blood sample.
 

Stressedmum

New member
Hi, 18 yr old son was arrested around midnight on Sat night, sitting in his car with friends in a rural car park with engine running but car stationary. Breathalyser at scene and found to be ‘over limit ‘ but we have no idea of the reading. He admitted to us to drinking 2 cans of Fosters throughout the evening, he is a small build. He was taken into custody & provided 2 further breathtests at station the results of which varied so much they requested a blood test. ( no idea what the readings were) Doctor turned up to draw blood around 2am. Kept in cell all night & despite several panic attacks & asking for his parents to be contacted, Police refused. Duty solicitor appointed around 10 am Sunday morning & he was interviewed. Duty Sol advised him to give a no comment interview. We were finally called to collect him Sunday lunchtime - the first we heard of it. He was released under investigation - the alleged offence being ‘Drive motor vehicle when alcohol level above limit’. We were given a second blood sample but he wasn’t advised what to do with it.

Questions:
1. Should we definitely get the second blood sample sent away for independant testing ?( We are now aware of a leaflet he should have been given & the process to follow. )
2. How does he find out what the breathalyser results were?
3. As he was not found driving the car merely sitting in it, is the alleged offence incorrect?
4. Did the police deal with him correctly by not allowing him to contact his family due to his age - 18 yrs 4months & in a distressed state?
5. Assuming the blood results show excess alcohol, what is the likely outcome commensurate for his age and inexperience?
Hi, 18 yr old son was arrested around midnight on Sat night, sitting in his car with friends in a rural car park with engine running but car stationary. Breathalyser at scene and found to be ‘over limit ‘ but we have no idea of the reading. He admitted to us to drinking 2 cans of Fosters throughout the evening, he is a small build. He was taken into custody & provided 2 further breathtests at station the results of which varied so much they requested a blood test. ( no idea what the readings were) Doctor turned up to draw blood around 2am. Kept in cell all night & despite several panic attacks & asking for his parents to be contacted, Police refused. Duty solicitor appointed around 10 am Sunday morning & he was interviewed. Duty Sol advised him to give a no comment interview. We were finally called to collect him Sunday lunchtime - the first we heard of it. He was released under investigation - the alleged offence being ‘Drive motor vehicle when alcohol level above limit’. We were given a second blood sample but he wasn’t advised what to do with it.

Questions:
1. Should we definitely get the second blood sample sent away for independant testing ?( We are now aware of a leaflet he should have been given & the process to follow. )
2. How does he find out what the breathalyser results were?
3. As he was not found driving the car merely sitting in it, is the alleged offence incorrect?
4. Did the police deal with him correctly by not allowing him to contact his family due to his age - 18 yrs 4months & in a distressed state?
5. Assuming the blood results show excess alcohol, what is the likely outcome commensurate for his age and inexperience?
Thank you Sean.
We have now suddenly received a summons for the charge of ‘In charge with Excess Alcohol’, however the court date is in only 9days time and falls right on one of my son’s A levels - can we apply to the court for a postponement in this situation?

His alcohol/blood sample reading was 111mg per 100ml, am I right in thinking the following:
1. He will receive max 10 points and no ban
2. He will be fined (although has no income)
3. He will need to retake his driving test as this has happened within 2years of passing his test
4. Will his age (18) & immaturity go in his favour ?
5. Will pleading guilty and showing remorse (writing a note to the Magistrates?) go in his favour?
6. Should we get a Solicitor involved to represent & mitigate for him - will the outcome be any significantly better for him?
Many thanks in advance.
 
Apologies for the delay in responding. I will answer your questions in turn:

1. Yes, he is in a sentencing bracket where the court will impose 10 penalty points;
2. A fine will be imposed. You can work out how much here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/fine-calculator/;
3. As a new driver in his 2 year probationary period he will have his licence revoked if he is given penalty points. In these circumstances he will have to re-sit his test;
4. His inexperience and naivety can potentially be considered as part of his mitigation. He will need to show reflection and remorse;
5. See above;
6. A solicitor could help present his mitigation but there is no requirement for him to be represented. In this bracket, it may not have a significant benefit.

I would certainly suggest applying to the court to vacate the hearing date on the basis that he has an exam. You will need to provide proof of the exam. You will need to contact the general enquiries at the court to determine the best contact to send this to. It will ultimately have to be considered by the court.
 
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