Not guilty verdict in fatal accident drink driving case

Not guilty verdict in fatal accident drink driving case


Mr CB was a young man who had been involved in a car accident in which the passenger of his vehicle was tragically killed. Mr CB had himself suffered very serious injuries and had been airlifted to hospital. In the course of CB’s medical care, a blood transfusion took place and Police obtained a sample of his blood. That sample was subsequently analysed and found to have excess alcohol within it.


CB was summoned to the Chelmsford Magistrates Court accused of drink driving Contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. This case was immensely important as any conviction could form the basis for the conclusion that he was drunk at the time of the accident and could form the basis for a prosecution for causing death by dangerous driving, a far more serious offence.


Quentin was instructed to defend the case by CB's parents, who were worried about the affect of any conviction upon their son's future prospects. He immediately took instructions from the defendant and identified a procedural weakness in the prosecution case. This weakness meant that the prosecution would be unable to rely on their analysis of the blood sample. The law related to the use of specimens in an offence under s5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 as outlined in section 15 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 as well as s7A of the and s9 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Quentin produced a detailed skeleton argument that he served on the prosecution and the Court outlining the legal position.


At trial Quentin outlined his legal argument to the Court, he submitted that any specimen of blood in the case was inadmissible and there was no case to answer. Upon hearing the argument the prosecution came the view that it was unanswerable and proceeded to offer no evidence against Mr CB. The Court therefore entered a Not Guilty verdict in his case.


If you are accused of a driving offence it is advisable to seek expert and specialist representation. Driving law is often complex and experienced lawyers can analyse cases to see if technical defences exist that may be able to defeat even the strongest of cases.


Quentin Hunt is a criminal Barrister who is an expert in defending professional and high profile individuals in Road Traffic cases; he accepts instructions both through solicitors and directly from members of the public. Should you be accused of such an offence you may contact Quentin for a no obligation conversation about your case.