A question that we get asked all the time is how to avoid a random breath test (or RBT). Unfortunately, the only simple answer is to just not drink and drive in the first place.
There is a longer and more helpful answer, however.
First, we need to make it clear that if you are stopped by the police for a random breath test, you have to comply with their request to provide a sample of breath. If you refuse or fail to provide the required sample of breath, you can/will be charged with the offence of failing to provide a sample of breath which is treated almost the same as an actual drink driving offence, including a mandatory licence disqualification.
There are, however, certain circumstances when you may not have committed an offence if you did not provide the sample of breath as required.
One example is if you were never formally required to provide a sample of breath. A request for a sample of breath needs to be made lawfully which means that if a police officer did not follow the correct steps or say the correct words, you might not have committed an offence if you did not cooperate.
Another example is if you have a medical reason as to why you could not provide the sample of breath, such as severe asthma or restricted lung capacity. If you know that you suffer from a condition which could make it hard for you to provide a sample of breath, you should make sure that you carry a certificate from a GP or specialist with you so that you can show this to the police straight away.
We are not in any way providing this information as a guide on how to avoid your legal obligation to provide a sample of breath. As already mentioned, it is an offence to fail to provide a sample of breath and we cannot support any intentional breaches of the law. Instead, we want to show that not every person who has failed to provide a sample of breath has committed an offence and that there may be ways to avoid being convicted for an offence they did not commit.
Therefore if you think that you have been incorrectly charged with failing to provide a sample of breath, you should contact us immediately to discuss your options.