Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, if the police have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they have the authority to request a specimen from you. This could be a roadside breathalyser test, or you may be asked to go to the police station to provide a blood or urine sample. Under sections 6 & 7 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is an offence if a person fails - or refuses - to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine when lawfully required to do so, unless that person has a reasonable excuse for any such failure.
If you're found guilty of failing to provide a specimen, and are caught driving or attempting to drive, you could face a minimum 12 month driving disqualification, and/or a fine of up to £5,000, community service and worst-case scenario, up to six months imprisonment.
If you are found to be in charge of a vehicle and have failed to provide an evidential specimen you could receive 10 points on your licence, a discretionary disqualification, a fine of £2,500- or three-months imprisonment.
If you have a previous drink driving offence which took place over the past ten years, the penalties will be much higher, and disqualification can range from 36 months upwards.
In some cases, reasonable excuses, such as a medical reason for not providing a specimen could be accepted. These could include:
• Suffering from asthma or respiratory condition;
• Phobia of needles;
• Prostate problems or urinary tract infection;
• Mental health condition.
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