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Defending a Drug Driving case?

Written by: Alan Baker 9th May, 2017

Driving under the influence of drugs, either illicit or prescription, has been an offence for many years but before March 2015, the Crown had to establish that the individual was impaired to drive. Historically about 40% of proceedings in Magistrates Courts for drug driving were withdrawn or dismissed. The comparable figure for drink driving was…

Shopping bag or exhibit bag?

Written by: Alan Baker 20th March, 2017

It’s often said that the quality of any forensic work is only as good as the quality of what’s happened before an item gets to the laboratory. In the not-too-distant past, when items such as clothing or footwear were seized from an individual, the exhibit bags would remain sealed until the items arrived at the…

I thought that this only happened in the US

Written by: Alan Baker 20th February, 2017

There is a mixture of fear and disbelief among the forensic community about what may have happened at the Randox lab in Manchester and at the moment an additional level of uncertainty about what actually happened. We know that mistakes happen but the inclusion of rigid quality ISO and UKAS procedures and the need for…

Quality Matters in Forensic Science

Written by: Alan Baker 25th January, 2017

There have been many attempts over the years to impose some sort of quality control over the provision of forensic science services to criminal defence solicitors. The advent of the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) in 2000 was the last real attempt to create a system which gave confidence in the expert…

Roadside Drug Testing – Is it all it’s cracked-up to be?

Written by: Alan Baker 29th January, 2016

The Government are seemingly euphoric after the publication of drug driving data in December 2015. The campaign, which ran from December 1 – 31, saw 1888 drug screening devices administered by officers  with nearly 50 per cent of people stopped found to be under the influence of drugs.  More people were detected in December than…