Failure to Provide Breath Test / Urine Sample

Why is legal representation Important?

At Lawtons, our expert drink driving solicitors have a vast amount of experience in dealing with “Failure to Provide” cases and can offer legal advice specific to a variety of given circumstances.

The law – “failure to provide” offence consequences

Failure to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine is a subdivision of the drink driving laws.

It covers the situation when you have been arrested for drunk driving, but for whatever reason don’t manage to provide a specimen.

If a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person may have been drink driving or in charge of a vehicle whilst over the legally prescribed alcohol limit, that person may be asked to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine for analysis.

A failure to provide a specimen of breath at the roadside is an offence and can entitle an officer to arrest that person. In those circumstances, the arrested person would be taken to a nearby police station where they would be asked to provide an evidential sample of breath. At that stage, a failure to provide a breath sample without a reasonable excuse would lead to that person probably being charged with that offence.

There may be occasions when a breath sample cannot be obtained, perhaps for medical reasons. In these circumstances, the officer conducting the procedure may ask for a blood or urine sample to be provided instead.

Failure to provide a blood specimen or to provide a urine sample may equally result in charges. The choice as to what replacement sample is taken is one that the officer will make. Any replacement sample of blood would be taken by a doctor.

Why is a ‘failure to provide’ so serious?

The courts often view a person’s “failure to provide” as serious, as if that person had actually provided a positive breath reading which showed that they were over the legally prescribed limit. It is therefore treated as seriously as drunk driving and can bring all the driving penalties that go with that.

Courts will sometimes view the fact that the person failed to provide a sample of breath as more serious than if the person had provided a positive sample, as the court can sometimes conclude that the failure was deliberate and an attempt to avoid giving what may have been a very high reading. In coming to this decision the court can assess the standard of driving or level of impairment.

Sometimes there may be very valid reasons why a sample could not or was not provided, so this is a highly technical area of drunk driving law and mistakes can frequently be made if the complex procedures are not followed correctly.

For immediate assistance and help, please contact us now.

FAQs about Failure to Provide Breath Test / Urine Sample

Can you refuse to be breathalysed?

You should never refuse to be breathalysed at the roadside as it is a criminal offence to refuse it. You be arrested and taken to the police station to do an evidential breath test, and could be fined up to £1,000 with 4 penalty points on your licence.

Can you get away with failing to provide a specimen?

No, if you are asked to provide a urine sample and you fail to do so without a reasonable excuse, then you are breaking the law and will face a hearing in court.

What would be a reasonable excuse to not provide a specimen?

A medical condition backed up by substantial medical evidence could be seen as an excuse to not provide a specimen. For example, a prostate issue to not provide a urine sample, or asthma for the breath test.