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Dundee drug-drive suspect refused to give blood sample because it was Ramadan

Dundee Sheriff Court.
Dundee Sheriff Court.

A Muslim delivery driver refused to give a blood sample to police because he was stopped for drug-driving during the month of Ramadan.

Hasan Kurban said he could not give a sample to police for analysis because it “would affect the integrity of the fast”.

On Friday at Dundee Sheriff Court, Kurban admitted failing without a reasonable excuse to provide a specimen when required to do so by officers.

Kurban, 30, from Stockport, admitted committing the offence in Dundee on May 6 last year when he was making deliveries in the city.

Positive saliva sample

Fiscal depute Lee Corr told the court: “At 9.30 am police were on patrol when they had cause to stop a white Mercedes Sprinter van.

“On speaking with the accused on the other matter, which is no longer before the court, both officers detected a strong smell of cannabis from within the vehicle.

“Due to this, the accused was required to provide a sample of saliva, which he agreed to do.

“That provided a positive result.

“The accused was informed he was arrested and he was taken to police HQ in Dundee.

“Officers required the accused to provide a sample of blood for a lab test.

“They warned him of the consequences but he refused to provide a sample.

“The accused stated that this was on religious grounds.”

When he was charged, Kurban stated: “It’s not that I’m refusing – it’s just that I can’t give you it at this particular time.”

Refused blood sample

Solicitor Jim Caird, defending, told the court: “This was during the month of Ramadan and he is a Muslim.

“He thought at the time that giving a blood sample would in some way affect the integrity of the fast.

“He had taken cannabis the night before.

“I understand he was driving a delivery van at the time but he is currently unemployed.”

Mr Caird told the court Kurban did not have the money to pay to travel to Scotland for a court appearance and said he was aware he would be disqualified.

However, Sheriff Alistair Carmichael said: “I don’t think I can disqualify him in his absence.

“I’m not going to disqualify him from driving today because I don’t think I can.”

The sheriff deferred sentence until next month and ordered Kurban to appear in court in person.

Ramadan rules

One of the main questions asked around fasting during Ramadan is whether blood donation is allowed.

Sources suggest it is and therefore, giving a blood sample to police would be the same.

Imbibing intoxicants such as cannabis is forbidden in Islam.

If drugs are illegal, why are there legal limits for drug-driving?

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