Failure to Provide a Sample Case Studies

In late 2016 Mr A was charged with failure to provide a urine sample. He had been stopped by police as he was driving home from work and was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving. He was taken to a police station in London, and because of a medical condition he could not blow into a breath testing device. Police required him to provideurine instead. The law requires a motorist to provide two separate samples within one hour of the request. Immediately prior to his arrival at the police station he had emptied his bladder because he had been desperate to urinate. He was then faced with the challenge of providing two samples in the hour, with officers keeping a close eye on him. He was provided with plenty of water and he drank it. However, hard he tried he could not provide urine. Police charged him with failure to provide. His defence was he had a reasonable excuse – he couldn’t “go”. The prosecution said he was making it up, but the court believed him and he was acquitted.

At the conclusion of this case my client said this:

"Having spoken with many other firms, we chose David Barton. Highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable, David provided unrivalled expertise, in an honest and refreshingly approachable manner. He dealt with the case from day one, providing clear and concise advice, followed it through with his superb advocacy skills in court, to a brilliant acquittal at the finish. Would very highly recommend."



In late 2017 Miss B was charged with failure to provide samples of breath at the police station in Kent. She had been arrested at the roadside following a minor road accident. At the police station, she had a panic attack which rendered her incapable of fully understanding and processing the requirement made of her to provide breath samples. As a consequence, she was charged with failing to provide breath. At her trial in early 2018 compelling psychological evidence was introduced to support the effects of a severe panic attack. The court accepted both her evidence and that of the consultant psychologist and she was found not guilty.


In 2014 Mrs A was charged with failure to provide samples of breath at a police station in Kent. She had been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, but her behaviour was the result of genuine distress following an incident with a relative. She was still very distressed at the police station and incapable of complying with the police request for breath samples. She was charged with failure to provide, and her defence was that she had a reasonable excuse namely an emotional inability. Both medical and psychological evidence was called to support her defence and the court found her not guilty.


In 2016 a very young driver, Miss W, had a road accident whilst driving and was taken to hospital. On arrival, she asked paramedics for permission to go to the toilet. They checked with police and permission was given. She was then placed under the care of a doctor. Her mother arrived quickly as police had called her. She could not provide breath because samples can only be taken into the police station and so police required her to provide urine. She was dehydrated prior to going to the toilet, and despite her best efforts over the following hour by drinking plenty of water, she couldn’t go again. The police charged her with failing to provide urine. Her defence was that she had been too dehydrated and police had given her permission to go to the toilet. She was found not guilty with the court accepting evidence from her and her mother that she had done her best.

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