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Cerebral palsy


New member
I am enquiring for a friend who has cerebral palsy which is quite noticeable to anyone. He failed a roadside test and was taken to the station. He failed 2 evidential tests and told the police he couldn't breathe for long enough. He was told he would be charged with failing to provide. He asked for a blood sample or urine to be taken but was refused, he also asked for a doctor again refused.

I have read your notes regarding failure to provide an evidential test but it refers to the police officer asking, not the person arrested. Can the arrested person insist on a blood/urine or doctor knowing he would not be able to comply or is this simply at the discretion of the Police. He did tell them of his cerebral palsy and it is noticeable to anyone who sees the way he walks and his affected hand

Your help would be most appreciated

Forum Moderator

Staff member
It is the police officers decision as to the type of specimen that should be provided, not the suspects decision.

It is an offence to fail to provide a specimen without reasonable excuse.

A suspect can inform the police that they have a medical reason for failing to provide a specimen of breath, however if the police officer does not consider their is reasonable cause to believe the medical reason provided the suspect will be charged with failing to provide a specimen.

Your friend can either plead guilty to the charge of failing to provide a specimen without reasonable excuse OR plead not guilty and provide medical evidence to the court to support his claim that his cerebral palsy did in fact prevent him from providing a sample of breath.

It will then be the courts decision after considering all facts as to whether or not his cerebral palsy does in fact amount to a reasonable excuse or not.

Your friend should contact a solicitor who will be able to advise him further.


TTC Group
I agree with the moderators assessment.
having cerebral palsy pre se does NOT stop someone from providing breath samples, but for SOME sufferers their lung function can be affected. Your friend should seek a report on his lung function from a doctor who is familiar with his particular effects from this condition. If this is submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service they MAY decide to withdraw the charge rather than go to the trouble and expense on seeking a counter medical opinion.
The outcome could depend on if there was a collision or a simple stop check with no one else inconvenienced by his actions.