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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149982 Find in a Library
Title: Drink/Drive: Charge, Wording, Fear of AIDS and the Choice of Specimens
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:66  Issue:3  Dated:(July-September 1993)  Pages:256- 259
Author(s): R R Jerrard
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article critiques four British court cases that pertain to the interpretation of a section of the Road Traffic Act 1988 that creates an offense for refusing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.
Abstract: S.7(6) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 created two offenses of refusing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis when the defendant was alleged to have been driving a vehicle and when the defendant was alleged to have been in charge of a vehicle. The two offenses have different penalties. In Corcoran v. D.P.P. (1992) The Times, the court held that a charge under s.7(6) that did not distinguish the circumstances in which the request was made had been "bad for duplicity." In Shaw v. D.P.P. and Others (1992) The Times, the charge also failed to specify the circumstances under which the request for a specimen of breath was made. In this case, the court found the Corcoran court in error, as it held that there was a single course of conduct that constituted the offense, namely failing to provide the specimen without reasonable excuse. In D.P.P. v. Fountain (1987) The Times, a defendant refused to give a sample of blood for testing because he claimed to be fearful of becoming infected with the AIDS virus. The court held the defendant's belief was not a reasonable excuse for not giving a blood sample. In D.P.P. v. Byrne (1991), the defendant claimed he was not given the choice between providing a blood or urine specimen for alcohol-consumption testing. The court held that the police officer is to make the decision whether the sample provided shall be of blood or urine, but the police officer must convey to the defendant that the sample to be required may be of either blood or of urine and must give the defendant an opportunity to consider which sample he/she would prefer to give if the choice were his/hers and any reasons for that preference.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Alcohol consumption analysis; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Foreign laws; Foreign police; Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
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