You will prepare and submit a term paper on The Legal Burden in Criminal Proceedings in England and Wales. Your paper should be a minimum of 2500 words in length. In cases where the accused has been charged with causing an accident whilst being over the prescribed limit of alcohol and their defense is that they drank after the incident the courts have frequently placed the burden on the accused to prove that they were not drunk at the time of the accident. R v Drummond4 is one such case where the driver left the scene of an accident and was apprehended by officers at his home address. Following a breath test, he was charged with being over the prescribed limit. He asserted that he had not been drunk at the time of the accident but had consumed drink upon returning home. It was held by the court that it was impossible for the police to either prove or disprove this assertion and therefore the burden was on the accused to prove that which he asserted.
A similar decision was reached in Sheldrake v DPP5 where the accused tried to assert that he could not have driven a vehicle due to his level of intoxication. In this case, the accused was unable to prove his assertion and the conviction was upheld.
Requiring a defendant to prove their innocence9 rather that making the prosecution prove their guilt would appear to be a breach of Article 6 and should entitle the defendant to bring an action in the European Court of Human Rights. The reality that has become apparent in these cases is that very few complainants are actually successful in proving that such a breach has occurred. A multitude of cases on this matter has demonstrated that there is not an absolute prohibition on the use of the reverse burden under Article 610.
In some cases, the courts .have allowed the reverse burden to be applied even if placing the onus on the accused interferes with the presumption of innocence. .This was the case in R v Lambert  where the accused was relying on s28 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to infer.