The law:Road Traffic Act 1988, s.6(6) Road Traffic Act 1988, s.7(6) Road Traffic Act 1988, s.11(3)

Section 6 subsection 6 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a person commits an offence if without reasonable excuse he fails to co-operate with a preliminary test in pursuance of a requirement imposed under this section.Section 7 subsection 6 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to provide an evidential specimen when required to do so in pursuance of this section is guilty of an offence.

Section 11 subsection 3 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a person does not co-operate with a preliminary test or provide a specimen of breath for analysis unless his co-operation or the specimen is sufficient to enable the test or the analysis to be carried out, and is provided in such a way as to enable the objective of the test or analysis to be satisfactorily achieved.

The offence is triable only in the Magistrates Court and carries a maximum Level 5 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment. The court must endorse the licence and disqualify for at least 12 months .The court must also disqualify for at least 2 years if the offender has had two or more disqualifications for periods of 56 days or more in preceding 3 years  and  must disqualify for at least 3 years if the offender has been convicted of a relevant offence in the preceding 10 years.

Our advice:

A defence of reasonable excuse is available. This is a question of law for the Magistrates to decide. Every case will be different but here are some examples:

Mental or physical incapacity:

This would mean that a person was unable to either provide a specimen and/or understand the requirement to do so. Medical evidence would be needed to succeed.

Genuine medical reasons:

This could be a real phobia of needles in a case of a requirement to give blood.

An inability to understand the requirement:

This could be a person who does not understand the English language.

Rose & Dunn can represent you for a fixed fee or possibly on legal aid. Contact us for further advice and assistance including a free initial appraisal of your case with no obligation.