Drink Driving: Has The Police Officer Been Trained?


Have you been charged with drink driving?

Do you think the police have the correct evidence against you?

Think again.

After several years defending motorists accused of driving with excess alcohol, and failing to provide a sample, I am constantly amazed at the poor evidence produced by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

I win a number of cases simply because the police fail to follow correct procedures. The breathalyser procedure at the police station must be carried out correctly. The police officer carrying out a breath test should complete what is known as an MGDDA booklet. This booklet, about 20-25 pages long is designed to help the police avoid mistakes. Additional booklets, known as MGDDB and MGDDC, are used (in addition to the MGDDA booklet) when a blood specimen or urine specimen is taken. Even a simple breach of procedure can result in the prosecution collapsing. You could be forgiven for thinking that any officer carrying out this procedure must be fully trained. In fact, not only do I regularly find a breach of the procedure but, surprisingly, the officer carrying out the breath test may not even be trained properly! In some cases the officer does not even know how to complete the MGDDA booklet.

The police force is now using special constables for various types of police duties, and this can include breath tests. Not being fully trained police officers, there can be even more chance of mistakes being made.

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