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Do I have a right to Legal Advice prior to providing a specimen when suspected of drink driving?

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Can I speak to a solicitor prior to providing a specimen? 

Failing to provide a specimen of breath, urine or blood without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence. Often, a person may have a reasonable excuse for not providing a sample meaning that a charge for this offence may not always lead to a conviction. However, delaying the process to speak to a solicitor is not a reasonable excuse. You do not have the right to speak to a solicitor before providing a specimen. You are likely to be charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath when suspected of drink driving.

Can I receive a penalty when no one knows my reading?

If you do find yourself charged with this offence it is vital to seek expert legal advice, whether there is an obvious defence or not. The penalties for failing to provide a specimen are extremely wide ranging with the sentencing guidelines giving the Courts more room for interpretation than the more definitive offence of drink driving.

Will I be disqualified if I fail to provide a specimen of breath, urine or blood?

What is certain is that a disqualification if convicted will lead to you being banned from driving for a minimum of 12 months. Due to the make-up of the sentencing guidelines the courts’ routinely look to impose disqualifications for this offence by starting at the 17 month mark. Even if it appears that there is no defence available it is vital to get the right representation at court to ensure the court take all of the relevant factors into consideration when sentencing you.

How can we help?

At Emery Johnson Astills we have a team who regularly deal with a variety of driving offences. Our specialist advocates in the Criminal Defence Team are highly experienced in dealing with driving offences at both the Magistrates’ and Crown Court.

If you find yourself facing any driving offence it is vital to contact a solicitor as soon as possible to obtain expert legal advice. Representation at the police station is free, and legal aid may be available for your case at the Magistrates’ and Crown Court. For offences which do not qualify for legal aid, we offer fixed fees for appointments and representation.

To discuss any driving offences please contact our Criminal Defence Team at Emery Johnson Astills at our Leicester office on 0116 2554855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610312.