There are a number of circumstances when the police may wish to interview individuals in respect of road traffic offences. This can arise from a number of different circumstances, for example, following arrest for an offence such as driving with excess alcohol or by requesting that somebody attend at the police station as a volunteer, for example, in respect of a driving without due care and attention offence.
One of the main reasons that the police would wish to interview an individual is when they are missing one of the fundamental points of an offence which they would need to prove such offence; for example, in a driving with excess alcohol offence the police may not have evidence that the individual was actually driving as nobody had seen that person driving. Therefore, they would wish to interview the individual in the hope that they would themselves admit driving a motor vehicle which would then provide evidence to ‘plug the gap’ in the case.
Individuals are often requested to attend at the police station as a volunteer in minor road traffic offences such as driving without due care and attention. This means that the person is not arrested and is simply attending the police station to be interviewed at their own volition. Nonetheless, they still have a significant number of legal rights, in particular, the right to be represented by a solicitor at the police station.
It should be noted that the police sometimes seek to minimise the role of the interview and, therefore, many individuals feel that they do not require the services of a solicitor at the police station. However, the police station interview is a significant part of the process and can often be the point when individuals provide evidence against themselves which severely prejudices their case at a later stage.
It should be noted that any individual being interviewed at the police station is entitled to free independent legal advice from the services of a duty solicitor at the police station and this would always be beneficial as opposed to conducting an interview without the benefit of legal representation. However, it should be noted that this will not be a specialist road traffic solicitor and we would always advise that if you are facing interview for a road traffic matter you should speak to a specialist road traffic solicitor prior to any interviews taking place.
If it is that you are contacted by the police in respect of a road traffic incident then we would suggest contacting Ruth Peters or Neil Sargeant on 0808 168 0017 prior to making any arrangements to attend at the police station and we can advise you of all your options.