Lawtons successfully represented a Defendant at Stevenage Magistrates Court charged with failing to provide a sample of blood for analysis, in relation to the new offence of “drug driving”. The Defendant had been unrepresented in initial court proceedings and had been recommended to Lawtons due to their specialism as driving offence solicitors.
It was alleged that the Defendant had deliberately failed to provide specimens of blood following a positive reading of cannabis at the roadside, after having been stopped as a driver by police. The Defendant had told the police that he had a medical condition called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder combined with Anxiety and depression and that this led to an aversion to needles and providing blood samples.
Lawtons instructed a Psychiatrist who gave expert evidence that the Defendant’s well established diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder did cause him to have a needle phobia in this situation; and moreover, that the stress of arrest and blood procedure would have made the Defendant’s disorder worse.
Furthermore, Lawtons relied upon key legal cases which defined what might amount to a reasonable excuse for not providing a specimen, specifically that “a reasonable excuse must arise out of a physical or mental inability to provide one or a substantial risk in its provision”. Other issues explored were the standard and burden of proof, good character, and the extent to which the investigating officers did not pursue the alternative of a urine sample.
The Magistrates found that in this case, the Defendant did have a reasonable excuse and a medical reason not to provide the blood sample required, and he was completely acquitted of the charge.
This case is a further illustration of how Lawtons’ specialism in road traffic cases of all types, can be used to ensure that the best result is achieved.
If you are in need of advice or assistance in any road traffic case where your licence is at risk then please do contact us today.
Should you be based specifically in or around Stevenage, then please get in touch with our branch of criminal solicitors in Stevenage to discuss your case.