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drink driving

(23 Posts)
Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 14:03:06

I am seeking some advice re drink driving. If a roadside breath test is failed but then no further specimen is obtained (person taken to hospital due to broken wrist, nurse couldn’t get a blood sample & also person couldn’t provide urine sample in time but did try) then can they still be charged? Would they instead be charged with driving whilst unfit and rely on evidence from witnesses that the person was drunk? It was not me driving, I was a passanger, and the car hit a lamppost.

Buckinbronco Wed 22-Jun-16 14:06:22

Do you mean the roadside test showed them to be over the limit or the equipment failed?

Very similar happened to a friend and he was charged with failure to provide a sample.

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 14:09:00

the roadside test blew as over - and all the policemen commented he appeared drunk glazed eyes smelt of alcohol etc. (i honestly did not think he was drunk at all) but there was no second test i.e a second breath test, blood test or urine test - and i thought they needed two tests to charge someone? he wasnt offered a second breath test, the nurse couldnt do the blood test, and by the time they decied could do a urine test it was too late.

Buckinbronco Wed 22-Jun-16 14:11:41

No I think a breath test is enough. Hasn't he been charged?

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 14:13:23

hes been bailed, but ive been reading up on it and everywhere says it needs two tests to compare the two thats all. Guess Im just worried he will plead not guilty and I will be called a witness.

Buckinbronco Wed 22-Jun-16 14:17:45

Hmmm not sure then. My dad was convicted with a single breath test but that was many years ago

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 22-Jun-16 14:20:41

I believe it's considered good practice to have a second test, because it means the defendant can't call the results or the testing equipment into question - the roadside equipment has been "validated" by a second test showing the same result. I don't believe it's a requirement.

I think you probably will be called as a witness if he pleads not guilty. His legal team will almost certainly question the test result as there is no validation and they'll require your testimony to say whether he appeared drunk etc along with the police officers'.

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 14:23:15

thanks. yes i suppose i am very reluctant to give evidence in any way against someone i care for thats all, and was hoping it would either be a straightforward guilty with no getting out of it and no witnesses needed, or that they wouldnt even take it to court due to only one sample.

SoupDragon Wed 22-Jun-16 14:33:38

am very reluctant to give evidence in any way against someone i care for thats all

It might stop them injuring or killing someone who is cared for by someone else.

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 14:58:01

Soupdragon, i completely appreciate that. i was only asking advice as to what might happen rather than face weeks of uncertainty while this person is out on bail. I do not know if they were drunk or not, genuinely, but if they were of course i think they deserve a ban.

Thankfulforeveryday Wed 22-Jun-16 15:07:06

My FIL was convicted on just the one breath test!

Lostwithinthehills Wed 22-Jun-16 15:15:40

I think that if this person is charged you could be compelled to give evidence.

Were you with this person before they drove the car? Do you know if they had any alcohol before they drove? Also why did the car this person was driving hit the lamp post? If you are called to give evidence you'll be asked about more than just your opinion on this person's sobriety.

I'm not sure whether this person will be charged or not with only the roadside breath test taken. A decent lawyer might be able to challenge the lack of secondary tests to get rid of the charge on a technicality.

Even if they are not charged it would probably still be a good idea for you both to reflect on how abhorrent drink driving is.

Lostwithinthehills Wed 22-Jun-16 15:17:17

Has this person taken legal advice?

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 15:39:40

Hi no he's in a total depression about how he has ruined his life and maybe lost his job etc, I am in no way defending it at all, I suppose it's just hard he's on bail for 3 weeks and we have been told nothing, other than that he can't get anything from his car as its now evidence..? We were arguing and the road was slippery and yes probably going too fast (no excuse)

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 15:41:08

I wasn't with him because I picked him up just 20 mins earlier then he decided to drive. I have urged him to get legal advice but of course it isn't free and he's not left the house since either.

Pipkinhartley Wed 22-Jun-16 15:44:04

OP, you shouldn't get asked your opinion as to your friends state of sobriety as I'm presuming your not an expert in the field (usually police and medics can give a opinion on this for statement and Court purposes.)
You may be asked to provide a statement concerning where you went and what drinks were consumed and times etc, likely to just concern factual matters.
The fact that two tests were not taken should not result in no further action, the most likely scenario is a charge of fail to provide a specimen.

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 16:49:50

Thanks pipkin
Yes that's mainly what I was asking I guess I thought maybe would just leave it due to lack of the second sample but I guess police always want to try and prosecute?

BeckyMcDonald Wed 22-Jun-16 16:56:52

I've seen very similar scenarios in court and they've been charged with failing to provide a sample which, as I'm sure you know, attracts a sentence of a driving ban of a minimum of one year and a criminal conviction.

Were the nurses unable to get a sample because of a physical problem or because the driver was unco-operative?

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 17:00:03

Hi no they tried for 20 mins to get a vein jabbed him all over then decided to do a urine sample but time was nearly up & he couldn't do it in time. So not getting a blood test was definitely not his fault.

Lostwithinthehills Wed 22-Jun-16 19:03:58

Well your acquaintance should seek legal advice, surely paying even a hefty fee pales into insignificance in the face of a ruined life and lost job.

Obviously, though, his life isn't ruined. This is a nasty blip but, as no one else was hurt, he can recover from it.

Something to bear in mind, however, is if the police/CPS don't persue the drink driving there could still be some sort of careless or dangerous driving charge, based on your account of what happened.

Worriedgirl888 Wed 22-Jun-16 19:16:05

Yeah I agree lostinthehills think he's just become a recluse and ashamed, he's not had a single point on his licence or anything criminal ever and is 38, so all pretty humiliating. Will try and persuade him. And I agree re dangerous driving yes, just drunk driving is so much worse obviously more stigma and seems unfair he could be convicted on just one sample. Thank you all.

HereIAm20 Wed 29-Jun-16 21:54:13

Its unfair thst he put his passengers and other road users lives at risk rather than being convicted on one sample!!

JustanotherJP Wed 06-Jul-16 19:21:02

Do you know what the roadside reading was? How high it was would may influence how likely they are to charge.

You only need one test now as the roadside equipment is considered reliable enough to be admissible in court even though they do obviously like to do two tests ideally.

You would be unlikely to be summonsed to give evidenc if the CPS may view you as a hostile witness. I would think the defence wouldn't call you either as you would be of little use having just picked him up shortly beforehand so you couldn't swear he's only had one drink for example.

When does he go back to the police station?

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