As soon as this defence of reasonable excuse is raised, it is a matter for the prosecution to disprove this beyond any reasonable doubt. Therefore, in layman’s terms, if there is a possibility that you had a reasonable excuse for not providing a specimen, then you should be acquitted and therefore avoid a disqualification. Examples include a genuine fear of needles if you are required to provide a specimen of blood. Furthermore, there could be a physical reason preventing you from providing a breath sample due to breathing difficulties such as asthma.
A more common form of defence is in relation to a reasonable excuse for a mental health reason such as having a panic or anxiety attack. You may not understand the requirement to provide a sample for analysis, or the consequences of failing to provide a specimen if you are having a panic or anxiety attack at the time.
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