Drug Driving Blood Test Procedure

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Drug Driving Blood Test Procedure

Dealing with a drug driving allegation and the process of having a blood test can be daunting. As well as drivers, UK law holds the police to a high standard when conducting tests for drug driving, and understanding your rights in this situation can help you to keep calm and protect yourself.

In the following guide, JMW’s experts offer insight into when the police have the authority to conduct blood tests for drug driving, how you should respond if you doubt this authority, and the steps you can take if you believe the proper procedures have not been followed.

Understanding Your Rights and the Police's Authority

In the UK, the police have the authority to conduct a drug driving blood test if they have reasonable cause to suspect you're driving under the influence of legal or illegal drugs. This suspicion can arise from various scenarios:

  1. Erratic driving
  2. Involvement in an accident
  3. Physical and visible signs of drug use in a driver
  4. A positive preliminary roadside test

Situations where police authority might be called into question include if there is:

  • A lack of reasonable cause, if there's no apparent reason for suspicion.
  • Improper conduct, if the officer fails to follow the proper legal and procedural protocols.

Understanding the distinction between lawful authority and overreach is vital in protecting your rights. If you believe the police lack justifiable grounds or have conducted themselves improperly, this could be important to your defence.

The Proper Procedure for Drug Driving Blood Tests

The procedure for a drug driving blood test is meticulously structured to ensure accuracy and legality. The police must inform you of their intention to conduct a blood test and the reasons for it, and they should clearly state that they suspect you of drug driving.

Your consent is required for a blood test, and while you do not have to consent, refusal without a reasonable excuse can lead to further legal consequences.

A blood test must be conducted by or under the supervision of a healthcare professional, who will ensure the procedure adheres to medical standards.

The sample taken will be divided into two. One is tested, and the other should be provided to the subject, albeit this is not a mandatory part of the process. If requested or received, this allows for them to secure an independent analysis of the sample later, if required.

Every step, from the police officer's initial suspicion to the handling of your blood sample, must be thoroughly documented by the police officer. This creates a trail of evidence that can be crucial in your defence.

What to Do if You Are Unsure About the Police's Authority

If you find yourself in a situation where you're unsure about the legitimacy of the police's authority to conduct a drug driving blood test, there are steps you should consider:

  1. Ask for clarification: you have the right to understand why you are being tested. Politely ask the officer to explain what grounds they have for suspecting you of drug driving.
  2. Request documentation: the police are required to record their reasons for the test and how they conducted it, and you can ask for copies of these documents.
  3. Stay calm and respectful: regardless of your suspicions, remain calm and composed. Aggressive or uncooperative behaviour can lead to further complications and may hinder your defence in court.
  4. Note the details: if possible, make a mental note or write down everything that happens during the test, including the officers' badge numbers, and the time and location. This information can be vital if you wish to challenge the procedure when mounting a defence.
  5. Seek legal advice as soon as possible: solicitors can provide expert legal guidance, ensuring your rights are protected and offering the support you need during these challenging times.

What to Do if the Proper Drug Test Procedure is Not Followed

If you believe the police have not followed the correct procedure during a drug driving blood test, it is important to act promptly and appropriately. As soon as possible, write down every detail you remember about the incident, including the time, location, what was said and done, and any potential witnesses.

Contact a legal expert who specialises in drug driving cases. An experienced team - such as the team at JMW - can provide you with the guidance and representation you need. Your solicitor will review the procedures followed and advise you on the best course of action.

If there are grounds to believe that the procedure was not conducted correctly, this can be used to challenge the evidence against you. For example, if the blood test was not carried out by a qualified professional. You have the right to request an independent analysis of the second sample of blood taken during the test. This can be crucial if you believe the initial test was flawed or incorrectly administered.

It is important to remember that each case is unique, and the best course of action may vary depending on the specifics of your situation. JMW’s expert driving offence solicitors can discuss your circumstances in detail to offer bespoke advice on how you should approach this type of case.

Talk to Us

If you find yourself facing a drug driving offence and you suspect the police officers or medical practitioner did not handle your blood test properly, you should speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. Our team can help you to understand your situation and prepare to defend your case in court, if necessary. To learn more, call us today on 0345 872 6666 or by filling out an online contact form.

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