Blood samples to prove / disprove intoxication

06 November 2019

Not reviewed after the date of publication

Question:

Can a sample of blood be taken from a suspect, solely to prove / disprove intoxication?

Answer:

There is no power to take a blood sample simply to prove or disprove intoxication.

Section 62 of PACE creates a power for the police to take intimate samples with consent and the appropriate authority. Subsection (2) provides the reasons for which authorisation may be given:

'62(2) An officer may only give an authorisation under subsection (1) or (1A) above if he has reasonable grounds –

(a) for suspecting the involvement of the person from whom the sample is to be taken in a recordable offence; and
(b) for believing that the sample will tend to confirm or disprove his involvement.'

PACE Code of Practice D, paragraph 6.2 reiterates this.

Taking samples for the purpose of determining intoxication, not related to confirming or disproving their involvement in an offence, will not satisfy the provisions above and so no authority to take the samples can be given.

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