Our opinion on the legal world, and how it could affect you

Drink drive convictions may be unsafe! Was your sample tested by Randox?

19th Feb 2017

If you were convicted of drink driving based on a blood sample you may have been wrongly prosecuted! Hundreds of suspected drink-drivers may have had their blood samples tampered with making their convictions unsafe.

Could you set aside your conviction?

The Crown Prosecution Service says it is now reviewing hundreds of court cases to see if “compromised data” affected them. Randox Testing Services is part of Randox Health and apparently believe that as many as 484 cases dealt with at its Manchester office may be unreliable. Two scientists at a lab used by more than half of UK Police Forces have been quizzed over allegations that samples have been tampered with.

The National Police Chief's Council has confirmed that they are aware of a quality failure with Randox, which is being investigated - a criminal inquiry has been launched by Greater Manchester Police & Randox has provided each force with a list of cases that could have been affected.

It is believed that samples were manipulated to ensure positive test results were obtained for alcohol in cases primarily based on allegations of drink-driving. The motivation was possibly to meet performance targets. The tests also covered samples of saliva & hair taken for Family Court proceedings and drig driving tests.

Randox itself notified the authorities after an internal probe in January found evidence to suggest toxicology data had been compromised.

The Home Secretary has also been made aware of the probe, which could spark a flood of compensation claims. Two men, aged 47 and 31, were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and bailed. The Home Office have confirmed that the scandal is being urgently investigated by the Forensic Science Regulator and UK Accreditation Service.

Frank Rogers, Head of the Driving Offence Team at Brown Turner Ross commented:

"I would urge anyone who has been prosecuted for drink driving based on a blood sample to contact us as a matter of urgency on 0800 195 7617. Blood samples are only taken in drink drive cases in circumstances where it is not possible to rely on the analysis of a specimen of breath. Problems can arise in numerous ways including where the samples 

  • are not properly handled
  • are not properly sealed & labelled
  • are contaminated in transit or while being analysed

The worrying thing here is that it is not yet clear what has happened and there must be concern that someone has deliberately tampered with samples so as to secure the conviction of people who may well have been innocent. If this has happened it undermines the integrity of our judicial process and damages the confidence we all need to have that this is fair & transparent.

We have a 24/7 Free Help Line for anyone facing prosecution for drink driving or any driving offence & represent clients throughout England & Wales - we expect the line to busy when people hear about this!"

If you face prosecution for any driving offence call us now on 0800 185 7517!