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FAILURE TO PROVIDE A SPECIMEN

A police officer if he reasonably suspects that a person is driving, attempting to drive or in charge of a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs can require the suspect to provide a specimen for analysis. Failure to comply is an offence in terms of sections 6 and 7 of the Road Traffic Act. 

At the road side the test is one of breath. Refusal to provide a test or failure of the test will result in the requirement of providing a specimen at a police station. Failure to provide a preliminary breath test attracts 4 penalty points if satisfactory mitigating circumstances exist and a fine or discretionary disqualification. 

Refusal to provide a breath specimen at a police station is a more serious offence and attracts a minimum of 12 months disqualification in cases where person was driving or attempting to drive. If the person was simply in charge of the vehicle the disqualification is discretionary with an alternative of 10 penalty points. 

There is the general defence of ‘reasonable excuse’ to either charge Reasonable excuse can include a physical or mental disability rendering the accused unable to provide a specimen.