Convicted Driver Insurance Quotes

Failure to provide specimen

#1
Hi all,

I'm new and in need of some help.

I've been charged with failure to provide specimen - person in charge of vehicle. I did blow at the scene (83) but then subsequent attempts at the station I failed. I was not purposefully trying to fail, but after six attempts the officers were unable to get an effective reading from me.

I did not hit anyone else but I blew my tyre out driving and pulled over, blew the other one out as a result of the way I pulled over, and had the cops called on me.

I'm trying to understand what I'm going to have to face. I rely on my car to get to and from work and also to carry out work itself, I'm single, live on my own and don't live near public transport.

I also suffer from mental health issues and I am on the waiting list for possible diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The police are aware of my mental health difficulties - honestly I'm not sure how, as I have never been charged with anything before.

I have (had...) a clean criminal record.

I am completely and utterly ashamed that I've done this. I'm not going to go into details or try to condone or explain what I've done - all I can say is I was almost definitely having a manic episode. It had been building for a number of weeks. Ultimately I think something like this was always going to happen, I've been in and out of counselling for much of my teenage and adult life so far, but I've never had a formal diagnosis and I've never received medication as a result. I feel pretty scared that I'm now going to lose my job, my house, my dogs...

Basically what I am asking is if it is definite I will receive a driving ban?

Thank you for your help.
 
#2
The only other thing worth noting is I was not told before attempting to give sample of specimen at the station that if I failed it would be failure to comply. I have read that can have some form of effect? I was only told when I failed.
 

splodger

Well-known member
#3
Sorry to say you will be classed as a high risk offender, at the very least use the duty solicitor in court.

it will be a definite ban, of around 2 years.

prepare a statement that the solicitor can use based around your mental health problems and what your doing to adress them.

hope it works out OK for you.
 
#6
The only other thing worth noting is I was not told before attempting to give sample of specimen at the station that if I failed it would be failure to comply. I have read that can have some form of effect? I was only told when I failed.
The wording that is read out verbatim from the MDGG/A for that the officer reads out to you is "I require you to provide 2 specimens of breath for analysis by an approved device ........(skip some words) I must warn you that failure to provide these specimens will render you liable to prosecution. Do you agree to provide 2 specimens of breath for analysis?' Your reply is noted on the form. It may well be that this process was video recorded as well.
Are you certain that this was not read out to you? I am sure that the officer will say that it was!
 

splodger

Well-known member
#7
The only other thing worth noting is I was not told before attempting to give sample of specimen at the station that if I failed it would be failure to comply. I have read that can have some form of effect? I was only told when I failed.
If you wanted to pursue that I would suggest specialist legal advice
 
#8
Price1367 I can't honestly say if that was read out to me - I certainly have no memory of it. While my memory is relatively clear from being in the station, i realise it will not be viewed as a reliable memory. I was asked to provide six times and the officer got very irate at me being unable to.

I've been advised to pursue a line of defence over the fact I was having a panic attack during my time at the station. This included while I was trying to provide a sample.
 
#9
"If you can recollect being asked 6 times to provide a sample, and that you didn't, what do you anticipate that the outcome was going to be, ..... 'don't worry old chap, it doesn't matter, let's forget all about it?'...." that is what you can expect to prosecution to put to you in court when you claim that you did not realise what was going to happen when you failed to provide a sample of breath!
That may seem harsh, but I want you to realise that is is no easy thing to try to get off a failing to supply charge on the basis that "I didn't realise that it was against the law at the time."
You can put forward that a panic attack prevented you from supplying a sample, but would you be able to try to blow into the machine 6 times if you were so panic struck? Can you evidence previous panic attacks that have rendered you incapable of following simple instructions? Is the custody video likely to show you in such a panic struck state? If so, give it a try, but go into it with your eyes open, and be prepared for the prosecution costs of about £625 they will claim for a not guilty case (if you lose) versus the £85 for a guilty plea. And do NOT use an average every day solicitor as they normally have poor knowledge of the complexity of a not guilty Drink Drive case. You will need a specialist solicitor to stand any realistic prospect of success. Let us know how you get on.
 
#10
Price1367... you say that like I deliberately tried to fail, which I did not. I consistently said I was struggling and even asked if there was another way. I have a history of panic attacks and anxiety, I was having an anxiety attack pretty much all the way through my time in the station that night - I had a doctor called for a psychiatric assessment due to the state I was in. When I say I cannot recall that being said it's because I cannot - that is simply not enough for a strong defence. I could have forgotten, not been listening - being in a state I could have been elsewhere in my mind. I don't wish to put the police down in saying they definitely didn't, it's probably more likely I was unable to listen than it is they didn't say it.

However the police were aware and could see how much of a state I was in. They could have gone down another route.

The CCTV will clearly demonstrate I was upset. I was taken in and out of the cell due to the state I was in. I also was allowed to make a phone call to my father in which I was distraught, confused and had another panic attack over the phone - all which will have been recorded.

I genuinely feel that while I did what I did, I also was in no state to do what they asked of me. The officer dealing with me was unsympathetic and yelled at me as I was attempting to provide sample.

I'm not going into this blind. I've consulted with three lawyers and all have suggested the same line of defence. I'm aware how hard it is to succeed with a not guilty plea.
 

craig121

Well-known member
#11
You have been charged correctly, Its irrelevant whether its medical reasons or other for failure to provide"would be very difficult to get a lesser charge considering you crashed a car and blew 83 @ the scene.
Are you aware there are stiffer penalties for not providing and more importantly pleading not guilty ' what are your expectations from pleading not guilty failure to provide*,(your still a drunk driver)

I was incorrectly charged sect6 (charge sheet)with failure to provide @ sample roadside' went to court on the day Solicitor said it was a typo and court pappers were section 5 , guess I could of made an arguement but I knew I had been drinking driving over the limit I accepted my punishment from the court and attempting to move on with my life and to never ever repeat that mistake!*
 
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#12
Did did not imply that it was a deliberate attempt to not provide, I was pointing out the realities of what you face, putting forward a defence of 'failing to supply without reasonable excuse". Solicitors are always optimistic and will offer to proceed with a defence but remember that they will never lose as your bill will be delivered to you, win or lose.

After you have entered a not guilty plea and committing yourself to a lot of extra expense, did any of the 3 solicitors offer any advice about how to proceed with what to do when the prosecution add an alternative charge of driving whilst unfit through Drink or drugs, using the evidence of the arresting officer and the roadside breath reading of 83 to re enforce his opinion that you were unfit to drive through alcohol, which means that it doesn't matter about your panic attack at the police station?

All I want to do is to ensure that you are aware of what is to come, and that you do not just listen to advice from 'optimistic' solicitors.... and As I said before, make sure that they are experienced in Drink Drive matters. I will give you a clue, if they have quoted less than £3,000 then they are not going to spend enough time researching it. Even if they are looking at a quote like that, it still doesn't mean that they actually have that necessary experience to put forward a 'reasonable excuse' defence or how to handle the alternative charge if it is added to your case.
 
#13
I think the harsh reality is that Price is right on the money. A solicitor will always take your case and give you the optimistic side. I phoned a solicitor after my arrest and was given the "we can get it down to 9 months for you with a course etc, all it'll cost is £900 plus any further costs incurred".

I decided to take it on without even a duty solicitor, and got 9 months.

I didn't actually know that the roadside ones gave a reading. I thought they gave "Over, Under" that kind of thing. That said, if you contest it, they will bring the officer in. He will give evidence. I imagine all the CCTV will be presented and then you're left to a crown court to decide whether you were fit to give a sample and whether the police acted wrongly. They do this all the time though, remember that. They're doing something which is now a process to them, rather than anything that requires a thought process. I would imagine they get it spot on 99% of the time without even trying.

Unfortunately, panic attacks are one of those things that are 'easy' to put on, so to speak. That's not me saying you put it on, that's me saying that police officers deal with all kinds of individuals, and I Imagine they regularly come across a 'random collapse' or something similar. At the end of the day, if it was the perfect get out of jail free card, we'd have all done it the night/day we got caught over the limit.

I think in this case I'd take your punishment. You might actually avoid a longer ban (After all 83 would put you into the higher category?) and be given a stock 12 months with a course. You will, however, be a HRO which you need to declare to insurance and you will also have to take a medical.

Good luck.
 

jrj3

New member
#14
You will be disqualified for failing to provide a specimen and, as stated in this thread, classified as a 'High Risk Offender'. My advice to you is don't waste your money on a lawyer, turn up at court and look humble.Towards the end of your disqualification you should send a cheque for 90.00 when you reapply for your license and your DVLA medical will cost you 98.50.
 
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