Hundreds of drug driving convictions could be overturned after lab test errors

Tue, 24 Aug 2021

It has been widely reported in the media that hundreds of drivers who have been convicted of drug driving offences could see their convictions being overturned as a result of laboratory errors made by Synlab Laboratory Services when processing tests.

It is thought that the tests all involve blood samples for drivers who tested positive for cannabis use.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has announced that 4,255 samples have been reviewed. Of these, 831 samples have been identified as being of potential relevance to the safety of past convictions, or which might affect the outcome of a current prosecution. 588 of these samples relate to cases that have already been concluded and a further 253 samples relate to cases that are currently in the court system.

The Crown Prosecution Service is currently contacting the lawyers of those affected. Their convictions will not necessarily be quashed, or their prosecutions abandoned, but the laboratory errors could result in these outcomes.

Defence solicitors or individuals who may be affected by this situation and who wish for advice or representation on appeal – in most instances from the magistrates’ court to the crown court – are encouraged to contact the motor defence team at No5 Barrister' Chambers.

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