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NEW: How much urine is needed for an alcohol test?

Updated: Jan 8

Blood or Urine?

IF YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR DRINK DRIVING, you must provide a specimen of blood, but you can opt to provide a specimen of urine instead.

How much urine do you have to provide?

Is there a minimum amount?

What if you provide some urine but not enough to satisfy the doctor?

Have you failed to provide a specimen?

And how should the demand for the specimen be made? Is there a specific way of asking?

These issues were discussed in a recent case at Dublin District Court on 17 November 2022.

The Court confirmed that if a person provides a specimen of urine which the State argues is insufficient, and if the State charge them with failure or refusal to provide a specimen, the State should call the doctor to give evidence about this.

The Court also confirmed that when a legal demand for blood or urine in the Garda Station is made, the exact wording contained in the law must be used by the Garda when making the demand.


On 6 July 2022 Garda Davidson arrested Miss S. in North Dublin for drink driving. She was brought to a Garda station in Dublin City to provide a specimen of blood or urine.

She told the Gardai that she was afraid of needles and opted to provide a urine specimen. Despite a number of attempts she was only able to provide enough urine to fill one of the two glass vials used for such procedures.

She was charged with failing or refusing to provide a specimen of her urine to the designated doctor.

If convicted Miss S. would have been disqualified for four years.

In court she was represented by Patrick Horan and David Staunton, B.L. The case came before Judge Alan Mitchell.


GARDA DAVIDSON STATED that on 6 July 2022 he encountered Miss S. driving and had pulled her over. He described her as “having a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and glazed eyes”. She was arrested for drink driving at 11:04pm and brought to the Garda station.

Garda Davidson’s evidence was fair.

He explained to Miss S. that she would have to give a specimen of blood or urine to the designated doctor in the Garda station.

She said that she had a fear of needles. She chose to provide urine.

Miss S. subsequently provided a specimen of urine at 00:45am. According to Garda Davidson, the designated doctor, Dr Shah, “deemed the sample insufficient”.

Another attempt was made but at 00:52am Dr Shah again deemed the specimen provided as insufficient.