Failure to Provide a Specimen
If you refuse to provide a specimen for analysis regarding a drug drive offence you will be charged with an offence of failure to provide a specimen, in addition to any other offence. These offences are the same as those for refusing to provide a specimen for analysis relating to alcohol. There are some changes to how these relate to drug drive offences with the recent changes in drug drive testing and procedure.
Current law on failure to provide a specimen
Currently there are three offences which can be committed regarding refusal to supply a specimen:
Failure to co-operate with a preliminary test DR70
The preliminary test is no longer a fitness test it is now done with the use of roadside drug screening devices, therefore making the procedure similar to that for drink driving offences.
This offence carries a maximum 3 month prison sentence, maximum fine of £2,500, 4 driving licence penalty points and possibly a driving ban.
Failing to supply an evidential specimen for analysis when driving or attempting to drive DR30
This offence carries a maximum 6 month prison sentence, an unlimited fine, a driving ban and 3 – 11 driving licence penalty points.
Failing to supply an evidential specimen for analysis when not driving or attempting to drive DR60
This offence carries a maximum 3 month prison sentence, a maximum £2,500 fine, a possible driving ban and 10 penalty points on your driving licence.
Mitigating Factors for failure to provide specimen charges
Under the existing laws regarding failure to provide a specimen offences there are some potential mitigating factors against being convicted for an offence. The current law states that a driver can only be charged with a failure to provide a specimen charge if they are without a reasonable excuse for refusing to give a sample.
If due to a medical condition, such as fear of needles you are unable to provide a sample this will be taken into consideration as a mitigating factor as long as a medical practitioner is able to verify this.
Should you not understand the police’s requirements due to a medical condition such as anxiety issues this could also be used as a mitigating factor or potential defence.
The police must also follow the correct procedure when conducting drink and drug drive assessments; their failure to do so could be important for a defence case. It is important that you note any suspected procedural errors and check with one of our expert motoring solicitors as to whether the correct police procedure was followed.