At the police office the police will require a driver suspected of driving under the influence to provide two specimens of breath using an approved machine, such as the Intoximeter. In the normal course of events the police will use a form that provides guidance about the procedure that must be followed. Information and questions within the form should be read out to the person who is required to provide a specimen and his responses should be noted within the form at the time of the procedure.
The police must warn a person that failure to provide a specimen may render him liable to prosecution. The police must also provide adequate information about how to provide a specimen of breath.
The Intoximeter machine requires a person to provide a sufficient specimen of breath for the analysis to be carried out. If a person simply blows into the machine for a second or two the amount of breath given is unlikely to be enough for an analysis and may amount to a failure. Similarly, a person who pretends to blow into the machine or does so in a weak and ineffective manner will be regarded as having failed to provide a specimen. However, a person must be given a reasonable opportunity to provide a specimen.
A failure to provide a specimen includes a refusal. If a person refuses to provide a specimen the offence is immediately completed and he cannot thereafter change his mind by offering to provide a specimen. A driver does not have a right to choose to give a blood or urine sample instead of breath. A person’s agreement to give a specimen must be unequivocal and without condition.
Other Specimens – Blood or Urine
In certain circumstances the police may require a person to provide a sample of blood or urine as an alternative to breath. Failure to comply with such a request is also likely to result in criminal proceedings. Such a requirement can be made where:
The police have reasonable cause to believe that, for medical reasons, a breath sample cannot or should not be taken;No reliable device or machine for taking breath samples is available or it is not practical to use such a device;The police have reasonable cause to believe the device has not produced a reliable reading of the level of alcohol;Following a preliminary test, the police have reasonable cause to suspect that the driver is under the influence of drugs;The police have been advised by a doctor or other medical practitioner that the driver’s condition may be due to drugs.