The law considers the failure to provide a breath or blood specimen to be very serious, whether the refusal has occurred by the roadside or at a police station. However, there are some circumstances where what would otherwise be considered a grave motoring offence can, given a specific context, be understood as reasonable in the circumstances.
George Ide LLP is one of the leading full service legal firms in the south of England and has a team of partners who can seek just outcomes for clients facing motoring offence charges.
Although courts tend to take a very grave view of drivers who fail to provide a specimen, if it can be proved that there was just reason for failing to do so, courts may take a more considered view.
Circumstances which may constitute “reasonable excuse” for failure to provide a blood or breath sample include respiratory conditions and anxiety disorders.
Some religious beliefs, for example those of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, may also preclude people from being able to give a blood sample.
In addition, trypanophobia (fear of needles) is a recognised phobia shared by around 10% of the UK population, and may lead to those affected being unable to provide a sample. Although non-sufferers may find it difficult to understand, evolutionary psychologists have researched the condition and believe there are strong and credible reasons for its existence.
Of course, not all cases of reasonable excuse are attributable to one of the above reasons. Sometimes refusal to give a sample is attributable to the client’s particular set of circumstances and may involve aspects such as police behaviour at the time of the request.
At George Ide we understand how important it is to retain your driving licence and to ensure you are not unfairly prosecuted for a motoring offence such as failure to provide a specimen.
To speak in confidence with one of our partners, please call our offices in Chichester. Alternatively, you can use the contact details featured in the profiles on the right hand side of this page.