Drink Driving Blood Tests

M.A.J. Law has an impressive success
rate in Drink Driving Cases

If you would like to discuss the drink driving loopholes in blood test cases, please call:

0151 422 8020


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If you’ve been charged with drink driving having provided a blood sample, you may think that the only option is to plead guilty and ‘get it over and done with’. You may be resigned to losing your licence and accepting your fate. Pleading guilty is a decision that most people regret. Our team of specialists would be happy to discuss your options free of charge.

You may be surprised to find out that there is no immediate option to provide a specimen of blood at the police station. A specimen of blood can only be provided if:

  • There is no evidential breath testing device available at the police station
  • You are not able to provide a specimen of breath due to a medical reason
  • The evidential breath testing device has produced an unreliable or inconclusive reading
  • You were taken to the hospital rather than the police station

The police cannot charge you with drink driving before the results of the blood specimen have been obtained. This means that you could remain on police bail for up to six weeks with little information about what’s going to happen or what to expect. This can be a daunting and worrying time.

If you would prefer not to be left ‘in the dark’ then please contact our team of specialist solicitors. Drink driving blood test cases are our specialty and we’ll be happy to explain, in simple terms, what is likely to happen in your case, as well as highlight the most effective defence strategy to secure your acquittal. We’re confident that after speaking with our team, you’ll have complete peace of mind.

Next Steps – Released under investigation

There is a tendency for people on police bail to wait and see if they’ll be charged by the police before instructing a solicitor. This is never an approach that we would advise. Please be aware that once you are charged with the offence, the police can bail you to court as soon as they wish. In some cases – the following day. This leaves little to no time to prepare for the hearing or confirm your full instructions. M.A.J. Law offer a ‘stand-by’ service, allowing us to act on a provisional basis and ensure we’re fully prepared if the worst does happen.

As a starting point, our team of specialist solicitors and forensic experts will consider all of the following:

  • Do you have a statutory or common law defence?
    If you are unsure whether or not this applies to you, the team here at M.A.J. Law Ltd will be more than happy to talk you through your options. We will be able to immediately identify any available defence.
  • Were all the correct procedures completed before a sample of blood was taken, including two 25 page legal documents?
    A fault with the evidence presented against you could secure your acquittal. If there is a fault, our team will find it.
  • Did the officer have the power, under statute, to require you to provide a specimen of blood?
    An officer cannot simply request a blood sample, he must have the legal authority to do so. If he was acting outside of his power – the case against you would collapse.
  • Did you provide your clear and unconditional consent to giving a blood sample, and does the CPS have the relevant certification to prove that your consent was obtained?
    Contrary to what the police believe, consent cannot be proven by the word of an officer, there are legal certificates that exist to prove consent. No legal certificate means no case against you.
  • Were you provided with part of your own specimen?
    A failure to provide you with part of your sample would render the CPS’s sample inadmissible, leading to a complete acquittal.
  • Was a fluoride preservative and anticoagulant added to your sample before it was sent to the laboratory and was your sample shaken for the required period?
    This procedure ensures the stability and accuracy of your blood sample. If the correct chemicals were not added, the sample may change in alcohol concentration.
  • Did the sample vial contain all the relevant information and was it sealed in a tamper-proof evidence bag?
    Without this information, the CPS would struggle to establish continuity. The court must be certain that the sample received by the laboratory belonged to you.
  • Can the CPS prove that the sample was stored in stable conditions prior to being sent to the laboratory?
    Storage conditions are one of the most important factors that should be considered in a drink driving blood case. From storage in police vehicle footwells to police officer’s pockets – we’ve seen it all.
  • Was the sample analysed with an approved and recognised method, and was this correctly documented?
    At M.A.J. Law we know the ins and outs of forensic analysis when it comes to blood tests for drink driving. If you’d like to put our knowledge to the test – don’t be afraid to call us.
  • Can the CPS prove each and every element of the offence beyond all reasonable doubt?
    Often, the CPS expects people to plead guilty at the first court hearing in a drink driving case. Because they rely on this to such a great extend, evidence is often incomplete or non existent. By pleading ‘not guilty’, you are forcing the CPS to provide the evidence against you within 28 day period, and this often causes problems for the prosecution.

As above, police procedure for taking blood samples can begin to get very confusing. So, if you would prefer to speak directly with a specialist drink driving solicitor, please call our office for a no-obligation appraisal of your case.

As mentioned above: there are only four circumstances where a police officer can request a specimen of blood at the police station:

1. No evidential breath testing device is available
2. You’re unable to provide a specimen of breath due to a medical reason
3. The evidential breath testing device produces an unreliable or inconclusive reading
4. You were taken to the hospital rather than the police station.

The first stage of defending against any drink driving blood test case is to consider whether the police officer’s request fell under one of these circumstances. If it didn’t – the case goes no further.

If it did – we must then consider whether or not the officer completed both the ‘MGDDA’ and ‘MGDDB’ documents. The MGDDA and MGDDB are guides that were first introduced to generalise police procedures and to help prevent officers from obtaining unreliable and unlawful drink driving specimens of blood.

Blood cannot be obtained immediately upon arrival at the police station. Police guidance advises that breath be considered as a starting point (as it is the quickest specimen to obtain and gives instantaneous results). It is for this reason that an officer should first complete the MGDDA document (which details the breath procedure).

Once the completing officer becomes aware that breath cannot be taken, he must then consider the reason for this. Assuming this reason falls under one of the four circumstances above, he should then go on to complete a second booklet, known as the MGDDB document. This document also contains in excess of 20 questions and a number of legal requirements.

Both documents should be completed in your presence and can take up to 30 minutes each to complete. If they weren’t, it’s important that you call us immediately for advice.

During your period of bail, the police will send your blood sample to an independent laboratory (usually LGC Forensics or ROAR Forensics), who will analyse it for alcohol. All laboratories used by the police are independent and often have a very quick ‘turn around’ time (analysing a sample within 3 days of receipt). However, you may remain on police bail for weeks on end with little information about what’s going to happen or what to expect.

Due to continual failings by the police to correctly process and store forensic samples, the government commissioned an investigation by the HM Inspectorate. The report that was produced advised that forensic samples be processed onward to laboratories within one week of being taken. This is because the police station fridge is not suitable for long-term storage of forensic samples.

Blood is an organic material and will decompose over time. A result of this is that alcohol is created in the blood (a process known as fermentation). Each time a refrigerator door is opened, the temperature inside the fridge will fluctuate, this can disturb the stability of the specimen and may speed up the fermentation process.

One way to prevent this from happening is to add a preservative to the sample, such a sodium fluoride. Often – due to lack of training – officers fail to ensure that this preservative is evenly distributed within the vial, or even added at all. The result here is that the sample finally analysed by the laboratory contains a higher alcohol concentration than what was in your body at the time it was taken (often enough to considerably inflate your blood alcohol reading), resulting in a prejudicial charge.

If your sample is above the prescribed limit for blood, you will be charged and bailed to court. The first court hearing is hugely important – as this is the first opportunity we will have to consider the evidence against you and enter a plea with the court. On this date the CPS should provide a report detailing the analysis of your blood sample – known as the MG22(b) or ‘Streamlined Forensic Toxicology Report’. This report should contain all the relevant technical information that we would need to check, including:

  • The method of analysis used
  • A unique barcode for tracing purposes
  • The condition of the sample and its packaging upon receipt
  • The date the sample was received by the laboratory
  • The amount deducted from the sample for analytical variation
  • The level of alcohol found in the sample
  • The name of the Forensic Scientist overseeing the analysis.

We would first begin to cross-reference this report with the MGDDA and MGDDB documents. Any inconsistencies or discrepancies with the report would quickly be highlighted to the prosecutor, who may agree immediately to drop the case (if there is no realistic prospect of a conviction). Alternatively, we may decide to keep the issue quiet and raise it at a later date when it would do more damage to the CPS’s case.

Our specialist defence solicitors consider each and every piece of prosecution evidence in detail. The CPS may try and ‘pull a fast one’ by presenting only streamlined information, but this is insufficient. If a ‘Streamlined Forensic Toxicology Report’ is served on your first court date, it is more than likely that we would ‘reject’ this report and request a ‘full evaluative statement’ – which should be provided within 28 days (although we are yet to receive one within this time limit).

The full statement should address any issues raised re the analysis of the sample. Our aim is to have any evidence relating to the blood analysis excluded under section 78 PACE 1984. This could be achieved by showing that:

  • 1. The full evaluative statement fails to address all forensic issues raised by the defence
    The CPS have failed to provide the full evaluative statement or they have served it out of time
    The full evaluative statement is produced by a forensic scientist who had no involvement in the analysis of the sample, meaning the statement falls foul of the ‘hearsay’ provisions and is deemed inadmissible
    4. The full evaluative statement concludes that the blood sample was not received in a suitable condition and/or that any results provided by the laboratory may be inaccurate.

In 100% of drink driving blood cases that M.A.J. Law dealt with in 2015, the CPS failed to provide the forensic data pack. Part 19.3 of the Criminal Procedure Rules states that this data pack should be provided in any cases involving forensic specimens. By finding fault with procedure, M.A.J. Law can usually secure an acquittal.

Drink Driving Blood Test Defences

There are a number of statutory defences that could be used against an allegation of failing to provide a blood sample. The same defences can actually be sued against most drink driving related charges. If you’d like more information about these defences, and how a drink driving solicitor may utilise them, please refer to the ‘Drink Driving Defences’ document that can be found on the Resources page.

Drink Driving Defence Costs

Unlike some other solicitors, we are completely transparent about our fixed fee pricing structure and any potential costs that you may incur throughout the duration of your case, so please don’t be afraid to ask.

Our quoted fixed fees really are fixed; they will not change, even if the case becomes more complicated or lasts longer than originally anticipated. Over the years, our team of specialist solicitors have prided themselves on building long-lasting, honest and trustworthy relationships with each and every person we work with. This transparency and honesty is part of what has helped us become one of the leading drink driving defence firms.

We understand the importance of keeping costs down for our clients, which is why we employ a number of Cost Recovery Administrators, to process your Defence Costs Order immediately after a successful case. This allows you to claim back your costs from the Central Funds Office of the Government quickly, easily and without hassle (subject to assessment).

It’s vitally important that you choose the right solicitor to defend your drink driving case. Failing to do so could be the difference between being acquitted and being found guilty. Here at M.A.J. Law, we approach all cases that we take on with a positive attitude and will never simply give up. It’s this determination and positive mindset that has allowed us to achieve our 92% overall success rate, and become the leading drink driving defence solicitors in the country.

By choosing M.A.J. Law to take on your drink driving case, you will benefit from the following:

  • You can speak directly to the solicitor who will be handling your case, rather than being screened by admin staff.
  • There is no initial charge for advice
  • You can contact us outside of office hours, including weekends
    This is especially beneficial as letters from the court or the police often arrive on Saturdays.
  • You will be defended by a  solicitor who is a specialist on motoring law and, in particular, drink driving law
  • M.A.J. Law has a proven track record of winning cases, and number of happy clients.
  • Your case will benefit from our established contacts with expert witnesses and specialist senior barristers

Get in Touch to Discuss Your Case

Our specialist drink driving solicitors will be happy to provide you with initial advice, completely free of charge.

0151 422 8020

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