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27/05/2010
Suspected Drink Driver Case Dropped

The case against one of our clients, Mr R, a Gravesend man, accused of drink driving was dropped out of Court by the Crown Prosecution Service because of procedural errors by the Police. Mr R was charged with having 120 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine (the legal limit being 107 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine). If he had been convicted of the offence he would have been disqualified for at least 16 months as well as receiving a fine and costs. However due to an error on behalf of the Police the Prosecution had to stop this case. Initially, Mr R was asked to provide a specimen of breath for alcohol testing, but the device proved to be inaccurate. The Police then asked for a sample of urine to be taken. Unfortunately the Police failed to abide by the guidelines and amongst other things, used the same sample pot to obtain the two samples of urine which is required by the law in order to fairly assess the amount of alcohol in a driver’s urine. This failure led to the real possibility of cross contamination of the two samples and therefore it could not clear as to whether or not Mr R had in fact been over the legal limit when he was stopped driving by the Police. Initially Mr R did not have legal representation and in fact resigned from his job as a car salesman on the basis that he thought he had no choice but to plead guilty. This error was only discovered when speaking to My brief Solicitors at their offices in Chatham Dockyard in Kent. Jeremy Betts, Managing Director of My brief Solicitors said after the case: “Drink driving is a very serious offence with dire consequences. However it is the duty of the police to make sure that the correct procedures are followed when trying to prosecute. In this case these procedures were not followed and therefore rightly Mr R’s case was dropped. It is a shame Mr R was forced to enter a not guilty plea in January of this year and it was only 5 months later that this matter was thoroughly investigated by the Prosecution and his case was dropped.” Mr R commented after the case: “As a 21 year old car salesman I relied on my driving licence to earn a living. In November 2009 I was arrested for drink driving, my lack of knowledge of the legal process had left me in a panic with my back to the wall. I thought that the only thing I could do was to plead guilty. That’s when I sought the help of Jeremy Betts of My brief Solicitors. Jeremy explained to me in a very relaxed and professional manner that he would endeavour to ensure I was being treated fairly. I was ashamed of the situation I found myself in but Jeremy reassured me that despite the circumstances he would work towards the best outcome for me. I was unaware that the Police had not followed out the correct procedure. However Jeremy’s extensive knowledge of road traffic law mixed with his determination and professionalism prevailed. I have now kept my clean licence and I have learned many valuable lessons”

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