Do I have to give a bodily sample to the police?

1. Learn when you have to give a bodily sample

You must give a bodily sample if:

Blood alcohol concentration test 

The police can demand that you take a roadside breath test if you’re driving a motor vehicle. They do not need a reason to ask you to take a breath test. And you do not thave the right to refuse a breath test in this situation. 

If you’re not able to provide a breath sample, and the police have to believe that you’ve been drinking within 3 hours of driving, they may take a blood sample without a warrant. For example, if you are in an accident and unconscious, or you have respiratory illness.

The police can also demand that you give them a blood sample without a warrant if they have reasonable grounds to believe that you’ve been driving while imparied by drugs within the last 3 hours of driving. 

Your blood sample is used to determine the concentration of alcohol or drugs in your blood.

Refusing to comply with a demand to provide a blood sample is a criminal offence. If you refuse a blood test, you will be charged with refusing to comply with a police demand. A court will decide whether you had a reasonable excuse for refusing. It’s hard to show a reasonable excuse.

If you’re found guilty of refusing to comply with a demand, you will be sentenced to a minimum $2000 fine and a 1 year driving  for a first . A second offence has a minimum punishment of 30 days in jail.

So, if the police ask for a blood test, it’s best to give them one.

The blood sample must be taken by a qualified medical practitioner or technician.

If you’re unconscious, the sample will be sealed. The police will have to apply for a warrant to have the sample unsealed and tested later.

DNA warrants

The court will only give the police a warrant that allows them to get a bodily sample from you if you’re suspected of specific types of crimes. These crimes are called designated offences.

Designated offences include a wide range of crimes, such as:

  • murder
  • drug trafficking in some cases
  • in some cases

The police use your bodily sample to do a DNA profile. Your DNA profile is compared to the DNA profiles from the crime scene. If the profiles match, it may prove that you were at the crime scene. If the profiles don’t match, it may help eliminate you as a suspect. 

The police can use your DNA profile to prove you aren’t a suspect, or as that you might be connected to the crime. But they can’t store your DNA profile in the national DNA data bank unless you’re convicted of a designated offence.

DNA orders for designated offences

If you’ve been convicted of a designated offence, you will be ordered to provide a bodily sample for the national DNA data bank. You do not have a right to refuse to provide a sample if it is ordered as part of your .

Law enforcement agencies use the DNA profiles from people who have been convicted of a designated offence to investigate crimes. The DNA profiles let law enforcement agencies determine whether a specific person could have been involved in an offence.

It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with a . If the police have a warrant or a court order to collect a bodily sample from you and you refuse, you will be charged criminally.

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