There has been a significant change in the law regarding the provision of blood samples in drink-driving charges.

As from 10 April 2015, as a result of section 52(a) of The Deregulation Act 2015, the statutory option to have a breath specimen replaced by blood or urine has been removed.

The statutory option is provided by section 81 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states that out to the two specimens of breath provided, it is the one with the lower proportion of alcohol in the breath that is used.The breath specimen with the highest alcohol reading  is discarded.

The Road Traffic Act also provides that if the lower specimen of breath has an alcohol reading of no more than 50, then the person has the right to elect to have that specimen replaced with a sample of blood or urine. If the person then provides such a specimen, neither breath specimen is used and the reading of the blood or urine test is used. That was commonly known as the "statutory option".

The Deregulation Act, as from 10 April 2015 removes the option for individuals to opt for a replacement blood or urine specimen and means that the evidential breath test at the police station is now the primary means of testing.

In cases where a person is unable through medical reasons to provide a breath specimen or the intoxilyser machine does not provide accurate readings, the option of a blood or urine specimen remains.

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