(c) Sweet & Maxwell Limited

 R. v Brown (Michael Edward)

(CA) Court of Appeal


 Where Reported

                (1977) 64 Cr. App. R. 231

               [1977] R.T.R. 160

                [1977] Crim. L.R. 291


   Subject:  Road traffic

   Keywords:  Arrest; Attention; Drink driving offences

   Catchphrases:  Drink or drugs; driving with excess alcohol; arrest and detention distinguished


   Abstract:  Although every arrest involves a deprivation of liberty, not every deprivation of liberty amounts to an arrest. Constables decided to stop and caution D, who was driving at what appeared to them to be a high speed, though they did not consider that he had committed an offence. When D stopped, he ran away. He was chased and tackled and put in the back of a police van. It was then noticed that his breath smelled of alcohol, and he was required to give a breath specimen. He refused and was arrested. He was later found to have excess alcohol in his blood. He contended that owing to prior arrest, he was no longer the driver when the suspicion of alcohol in his body arose. The judge left the question to the jury as one of fact. D was convicted. He appealed.

    Summary:  Held, that detention was not necessarily an arrest. Arrest could only be effected in the exercise of an asserted authority. If a person was put under restraint arbitrarily or for some expedient motive, there might be neither a purported nor an actual arrest; and the officer concerned might have to answer for his conduct in a court of law. In the circumstances, the question of whether or not there was a prior arrest was rightly left to the jury, and the appeal would be dismissed. (Dunne v Clinton, [1930] I.R. 366 explained and dictum of Stephenson, L.J. in R v. Inwood, [1973] 1 W.L.R. 647 explained; Anthony v. Jenkins, [1971] R.T.R. 19 distinguished).

 Cases Cited

Anthony v. Jenkins, [1971] R.T.R. 19 (DC)

Dunne v Clinton, [1930] I.R. 366

R. v. Inwood (Derek), [1973] 1 W.L.R. 647; [1973] 2 All E.R. 645; (1973) 57 Cr. App. R. 529; [1973] Crim. L.R. 290; (1973) 117 S.J. 303 (CA (Crim Div)) 

R v. Inwood (Roland Joseph), (1974) 60 Cr.App.R. 70 (CA (Crim Div))

 Legislation Cited

 Road Traffic Act 1972 s. 8


Distinguished by

 R v. Birtwhistle, [1980] R.T.R. 342; [1980] Crim. L.R. 381 (CA)