Former Liverpool, Aston Villa, and Derby County footballer Dean Saunders has made national headlines having been sentenced to a term of ten weeks imprisonment for failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis, after being arrested upon suspicion of drink driving.

Ex-footballer Dean Saunders jailed for failing to provide breath sample

Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors explains why a term of imprisonment was imposed.

The Circumstances | Kangs Driving Offences Defence Solicitors

  • The car which Mr Saunders was driving was stopped in the early hours of 10 May 2019 as the result of the erratic nature of his driving and the suspicion that he was under the influence of alcohol.
  • He was asked to provide a specimen of breath for analysis but he failed to do so and was arrested. 
  • Further requests for a specimen were made which he continued to refuse, one of his reasons being that he wanted to see a solicitor. 
  • On the day of Trial Mr Saunders changed his plea from one of ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ and received ten weeks imprisonment.

Sentencing Considerations | Kangs Motoring Offences Lawyers

The District Judge imposed an immediate custodial sentence because:

  • he clearly felt that this offence fell in the top category in that the culpability of Mr Saunders was high, as was the risk of harm. 

A number of aggravating features were evident including: 

  • the high level of impairment that officers found with officers witnessing Mr Saunders driving at speed, failing to give way at a roundabout, causing another vehicle to brake, swerving to avoid hitting another vehicle and crossing the white lines in the road.
  • Mr Saunders was unsteady on his feet, his speech was noted to be slurred and officers found it difficult to understand what he was saying. 
  • The Judge found that the original indication by Mr Saunders that he intended to enter a not guilty plea was unreasonable in that he did not believe that Mr Saunders was confused by any of the procedure, or indeed, that he had any form of defence to the allegations. 
  • The Judge noted the consistent refusal to co-operate with police officers and his late change of plea to that of guilty indicated no real remorse on his part. 
  • The Judge did not accept the account put forward by Mr Saunders to his probation officer that he had drunk two pints of beer earlier on in the day and then a further pint of beer later on in the evening.

The District Judge clearly felt that the aggravating features far outweighed any mitigating features stating:

throughout these proceedings you have shown yourself to be arrogant, thinking you are someone whose previous and current role in the public eye entitles you to be above the law

How Can We Help You? | Kangs National Driving Offences Defence Solicitors

Whilst there may be a defence available even after a sample has been provided which is over the prescribed limit, this is a complicated area of the law and it is always beneficial to obtain immediate expert legal advice.

It seems likely that Mr Saunders may have, either intentionally or mistakenly, believed the procedure can be delayed whilst awaiting legal advice.  There is established case law which confirms that this will not provide a defence.

We have an established team with a proven national success in defending motoring cases as illustrated by the following sample cases.

Kangs represent former England captain Andrew Flintoff

Success in Defending Former Premiership Footballer

Kangs Defend Freddie Flintoff in Driving Case

Success in Dangerous Driving Case

Driving Ban Successfully Appealed

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Solicitors For Driving Offences

We provide a national service from our offices in Birmingham, London and Manchester.

If you find yourself in a position where you have been charged or summonsed for a motoring offence, please feel free to contact our specialist solicitors below who will be happy to offer you expert advice.

Sukhdip Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 07989 521 210 (24hr Emergency Number)

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Amandeep Murria
amurrias@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888