Taken to Hospital by the Police
Sometimes, a driver may be taken to hospital in order to provide a specimen, typically one of blood.
If a driver is taken to hospital, there are special procedures that must be followed by the police to ensure that statutory safeguards are complied with. Any person taken to hospital – whether arrested or not – is at their most vulnerable. They may not be able to understand the information given to them or fully comprehend their surroundings. This gives rise to a number of important defence issues.
When challenging a drink driving hospital case, there are a number of different things to consider. For example:
- Did you provide your clear and unconditional consent to giving a sample?
If you did not give consent, then the sample was not lawfully taken and cannot be used as evidence against you.
- Does the CPS have the relevant certification to prove that your consent was obtained?
Consent cannot be proven by the word of an officer alone, which is a common misconception among police officers. There must be a correctly filled out legal certificate to prove that you gave your consent consent. If this certificate does not exist, then the police have no case against you.
- Were you administered pain-relief medication?
It is not uncommon for hospital patents to be given some form of medication, usually via intravenous drip. Pain relief medication such as morphine can affect your judgement and make you drowsy. If you cannot understand the requirement to provide a specimen, or the consequences of failing to provide, but the officer still asks for your consent, the court should not convict you.
- Was an MGDDC document filled out correctly?
This document is an essential piece of evidence in the prosecution’s case against you. If there is fault with this evidence, our team will find it, and this could secure your acquittal.
- Were the police authorised by an A&E Doctor to take a sample from you?
A&E Doctors are extremely busy people, but this is no excuse for the officer not to request his permission. The involvement of the A&E Doctor is crucial and should be documented correctly.
- Was any information incorrect or missing on the sample vial?
Missing or incorrect information makes it difficult for the court to be certain that the sample in question did indeed belong to you. Typically, just a name alone is not enough to establish this certainty.
- Was the vial sealed in a tamper-proof evidence bag?
If it wasn’t, then it may not be able to be used as evidence in court.
- Was the sample was stored appropriately before being sent to the laboratory,and can the CPS prove this?
It’s not uncommon for police officers to store samples in ‘unusual’ places – such as the footwell of a police vehicle or even their own pockets. Blood is organic matter, and it can be easily changed and affected by temperature, which makes the conditions that any sample is stored in vital to the case.
- Was an approved and recognised method used to analyse the sample? Was this documented correctly?
The forensic analysis of a blood sample can, legally, be very complicated. Luckily, the team here at MAJ Law have an in depth knowledge of these processes, and will easily spot any errors that have been made, which could be enough to acquit you. Why not put our knowledge to the test?
- Were you provided with part of your specimen?
You are legally entitled to part of a blood sample that you have given, and you should be automatically provided with this. A failure on the police’s part to follow this procedure is enough to render the CPS’s sample inadmissible, leading to a complete acquittal for you.
The law governing hospital cases is complex. We recommend you seek specialist legal advice if you are seeking to mount a defence relating to any of the issues above. We will be pleased to discuss your case in complete confidence. All initial advice is completely free of charge.