Defences to drink/drug driving charges
When might I have a defence to a drink-drug driving charge?
Land Transport Act 1998, s 64(1)-(1B)
- Refusing a blood test for health reasons – It’s a defence to a charge of refusing to have a blood test if the test would’ve been harmful to your health. You’ll need evidence from a doctor to establish this defence.
- Taking drugs on doctor’s instructions – It’s a defence to a charge of driving while impaired by drugs if you had a doctor’s prescription for the relevant drug or medicine or a doctor gave it to you, and you followed all the doctor’s instructions.
- Refusing impairment test because of disability or injury – It’s a defence to a charge of refusing or not doing a drug impairment test if you weren’t able to take the test because of a pre-existing medical condition or disability, or because you were injured in the traffic accident that led to the police asking you to do the test.
Factors that don’t amount to a defence
Land Transport Act 1998, s 64(2)
- Strict compliance with testing rules not necessary – It’s not a defence that the police didn’t strictly comply with the breath- or blood-alcohol testing rules in your case, so long as there was “reasonable compliance”.
- Earlier tests irrelevant – If you’re charged with driving with excess breath- or blood-alcohol, it’s not a defence that there was a mistake in any of the earlier tests that the police relied on to require you to have further testing.