hip-flask defenceA legal argument which may be used by a UK defendant accused of drink driving (drunk driving in the US), wherein he or she claims to have taken several drinks (from e.g., a hip flask) to calm his or her nerves after being stopped by police, but before taking a breathalyser test or providing a specimen intended to measure the defendant’s blood alcohol content. The defense rarely works in practice.
Section 15 (3), Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988
“That assumption shall not be made if the accused proves
((1) that he consumed alcohol before he provided the specimen [or had it taken from him] and—
(i) in relation to an offence under section 3A, after the time of the alleged offence, and
(ii) otherwise, after he had ceased to drive, attempt to drive or be in charge of a vehicle on a road or other public place, and
((2) that had he not done so the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine would not have exceeded the prescribed limit and, if it is alleged that he was unfit to drive through drink, would not have been such as to impair his ability to drive properly.”