Director of Public Prosecutions v O’Connor and Chapman and Others: 1991

The court looked at the elements needed to be established to support a defence to a charge of driving with excess alcohol on the basis that the defendant’s drinks had been spiked: ‘On the authorities, it is now clearly established that the matters which the defendant has to establish on the balance of probabilities in order to show special reasons are three-fold. By admissible and relevant evidence, the driver is required to show, first of all, that his drink had been laced; secondly, that he did not know or suspect his drink had been laced; thirdly, if he had not taken a laced drink, the level of alcohol in his body would have not have exceeded the prescribed limit. If authority was needed to establish the requirement to prove those three matters through it is to be found in Pugsley v. Hunter.’ Expert evidence will often be required to demonstrate those two facts, and the expert evidence may well impinge upon the credibility of the driver’s own evidence.


Woolf LJ, Leonard J


[1992] RTR 66


England and Wales


CitedPugsley v Hunter 1973
The court discussed the basis of a submission that there existed special reasons for non-disqualification for driving whilst under the influence of drink when the driver’s drinks had been spiked. It was necessary for the applicant to show first, . .
CitedRegina v David Newton 1974
The Lord Chief Justice was unable to accept that someone with 127 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, a little over half the legal limit, did not feel any effect. The process of considering whether special reasons might avoid a . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Gravesend Magistrates Court ex parte Baker Admn 16-Apr-1997
The defendant appealed a refusal of legal aid. She wished to establish that her drink had been spiked, and thus to establish special reasons for not being disqualified for driving with excess alcohol.
Held: Expert evidence would assist the . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Vincent QBD 1992
(Year?) ‘From the authorities the following principles can be established. Firstly, it is for the defendant on the balance of probability to establish that his drink had been laced unknown to him. Secondly, it is very rarely that a court will be . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions, Regina (on the Application of) v Sharma Admn 27-Apr-2005
The prosecution appealed by way of case stated a finding by the magistrates of special reasons for the non-disqualification of the respondent for driving with excess alcohol. The defendant had drunk acohol, but unknown to her a friend had added . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic

Updated: 09 June 2022; Ref: scu.187416