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Need advice ASAP please

margaret01

New member
I was drinking on Thursday morning, I don't remember much of the incident as I was admittedly very drunk. My family overheard a police officer say they found me slumped against a fence or gate (as they didn't know I had been arrested and were looking for me. The police were talking between themselves and said its nothing bad shes just been found slumped and should be out soon). When I was released though they are charging me with failing to provide a specimen for analysis - vehicle driver. I dont remember refusing and to be honest again i dont remember a lot of time at the police station. I know at one point I was taken to see a nurse as I needed my inhalers (I suffer from asthma) and she told me and the officer that I had low blood sugar and that if it wasnt raised I would have to be taken to hospital.
I know I wasnt driving while drunk. I might have been near the vicinity of the vehicle and the car keys were on my person as they are kept in my handbag or coat pocket at all times so I dont leave the house without them but I would never drive when drunk and i wouldnt have a reason to drive anywhere as it was round the corner from my house.
I have tried to request my custody record so I could view it and try to understand what happened but my local police station told me to email the freedom of information rights unit but they said I most probably wont get it for 30 days and my court case is next week.

I am hoping to get a duty solicitor on the day as I dont have the funds to hire a solicitor myself.

Where do I go from here?


Margaret
 
If you are represented at court your solicitor will have sight of the initial evidence to be relied upon by the prosecution. Within this will be a case summary at least and potentially some witness statements from the officers involved.

For an offence of failing to provide to be made out the prosecution do not need to prove that you were driving, only that you failed to provide when the officer required you to provide after having a reasonable belief that you may have been driving. Failing to provide could be by refusal or by failing to satisfy the machine without a reasonable excuse for doing so (appearing to attempt but not providing two complete specimens for analysis). If you don’t recall much about the police station it may be that the papers provided on the day can help paint a better picture for you.

If you did attempt to blow in and could not satisfy the machine due to your asthma then this may amount to a defence. You would need to engage a solicitor and an expert on respiratory issues to assist with presenting a defence of ‘reasonable medical excuse’.

If convicted you will face a ban of at least 12 month together with either a fine, community order or in very serious cases a prison sentence. From what you say there is nothing that obviously leads to custody being considered as an option. I would recommend trying to at least get more specific advice prior to your hearing.
 
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