Defence to Failing To Provide a Specimen

Tracy Johnson of Forrest Williams

Tracy Johnson of Forrest Williams

Do You Have A Defence to Failing To Provide A Specimen?

Simon Parnell was delighted this week when he received a phone call from his case worker at Forrest Williams, informing him that the motoring charge against him had been dropped. 

When Simon first contacted us, he made clear from the beginning that although he had been charged with Failing to Provide a Specimen of Breath for Analysis, and this charge had resulted in him receiving a summons to court, he had actually tried his best to comply with the request of the police. 

Simon told us that, on arrival at the police station, he had immediately made the desk sergeant aware that he was in some pain, following his involvement in a car crash just a few weeks ago. 

The car crash, he told us, had been serious – it had resulted in his car ending up in a ditch and his being admitted to hospital, where he had to have a dozen stitches in his head. Since the car crash, Simon informed us, he had been suffering with back spasms which were so severe that he had been unable to work and had been signed off indefinitely, covered by his GP’s sick notes. 

On the date in question, Simon told his case worker that he had also been recovering from a bad cold, which affected his sinuses and his ability to breathe in the usual way. 

Simon told us he had tried as hard as he could to give the required samples of breath, but that he was unable to for the reasons given above. 

Once charged with an offence, he was so upset that he quickly arranged to see his GP, who wrote a supporting letter confirming that he was genuinely struggling with painful back spasms, and that breathing out for an extended period of time, as required by the breath test procedure, would have been very difficult/impossible for him to do. 

We advised Simon that he had a defence to failing to provide a specimen.

Following an initial hearing, at which Simon’s not guilty plea was entered, a copy of his medical records was requested and reviewed. These documents showed that Simon’s account of the pain he was in, and the medical treatment he had sought accordingly, were accurate. 

Simon’s case worker liaised assertively with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at this point, with the request that the charge against Simon be discontinued on the basis that he had medical reasons for not providing the required samples of breath. It was respectfully pointed out to the CPS that at no point had the police elected to request either blood or urine samples, both of which could more easily have been provided by our client. The case worker involved also informed the CPS that Simon had made clear to the police officers concerned that he was in pain, and that the level of pain he was in made it impossible for him to give an extended breath, as the breath test procedure required. This important information, however, appeared to have been ignored. 

As a result of the contact from Forrest Williams, a Prosecutor from the CPS reviewed the case and a decision to discontinue the charge against our client was taken. 

Simon was understandably delighted when he received this news. It meant that he no longer faces a potential disqualification from driving, and can now focus his energies on a return to full health. 

He thanked his case worker and all in the Forrest Williams office for their support and assistance through what had been a very stressful time of his life.

If you have been charged with failing to provide a specimen, contact our expert team now on 01623 600645.

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