Drink Driving Offences

What We Can Do To Help

Too many people are prepared to simply accept an alleged drink driving offence, as they are unaware of their rights at the time. They may also be unsure what a solicitor can do for them.

Having a solicitor that understands the specific laws and different situations you may find yourself in can be invaluable.

Protecting Your Licence

Helping you to protect your licence and stay on the road is our main priority.

If you have been released on Police bail after being charged with drink driving, you will have been given paperwork ordering you to attend court at a later date. This date will usually be within a few weeks of the charge date, but could be sooner. At this point you will need expert help to assess your individual situation.

A conviction and disqualification can have devastating consequences to you, your career or livelihood and it may also affect your family life. Our focus is to help you ensure the best possible outcome for you given the circumstances.

What You Can Expect From Us

With Simpson Millar LLP's Motoring Offences team, you will get:

  • A non-judgemental professional approach
  • Swift and clear answers to all your questions
  • Highly competitive charge-out rates, without any compromise in the quality of our work
  • A range of funding arrangements including conditional or contingency fee agreements in suitable cases
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How Much Is Over The Limit?

Driving, attempting to drive, or being in charge of a vehicle on the road or in a public place, whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit is a criminal offence. The prescribed limit will vary depending on what test you are given by the police.

You are over the limit if:

Over the Limit

Do You Have A Defence?

For example, it is possible that you may have a defence for being over the prescribed limit, if you are charged with 'being in charge of a motor vehicle', but it can be proven that there was no likelihood of you driving the vehicle at the time.

The outcome of this would depend on the circumstances and the facts given at the time, but it is important to note that you don't need to be sitting in the driver's seat to be in charge of a vehicle.

The police only have to show that there was a 'likelihood' that you were driving at some point. In cases where you are supervising a learner driver, this defence it is not likely to succeed.

This is just one example of a circumstance, which must be explored when discussing your case.

How Are Mistakes Made?

Drink driving laws are extremely technical, therefore it offers a possibility of protocol or procedural failure. You may not be aware that a mistake has been made by the police, therefore it is vital you have an experienced, Motoring Offences Solicitor.

If a mistake is found and can be proven, it will result in your case being thrown out of court.

There are a number of devices that the police rely on to read the level of alcohol in your system. The one that most people will be familiar with is the breathalyser. For every piece of equipment, a procedure needs to be followed so an accurate reading can be taken.

If the equipment isn't used properly, a technical defence can be mounted against your charge of driving while over the prescribed limit of alcohol.

There are a number of challenges that your solicitor can put forward on your behalf such as arguing:

  • The "hip flask" defence - the alcohol was consumed after the driving and not before the alleged event
  • The alleged offence did not happen in a public place or on a road
  • The amount of alcohol drunk does not compare with the reading provided by the device, leading to an assumption that the machine was not working correctly and the reading is unreliable

Drink Driving Penalties

Depending on the level of intoxication and the severity of the offence penalties can vary. The penalty for being drunk in charge is 10 penalty points, or a discretionary disqualification, and a financial penalty of up to £2500. A custodial sentence of 3 months can be given in serious cases.

For driving with excess alcohol, sentences can include:
Disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months
Disqualification from driving for a minimum of 24 months if you have 2 or more disqualifications for 56 days or more within the last 3 years
Disqualification from driving for a minimum of 36 months if you have a previous alcohol related driving conviction within the last 10 years
A fine of up to £5000
Up to 6 months imprisonment (Magistrates Court)
Between 3 and 11 penalty points if 'special reasons' are found
A requirement to take an extended driving test

Contact our motoring offences helpline on Freephone 0808 129 3320 or use our no obligation online enquiry form and we will call you back.

Get In Touch

Julie Robertson - Motoring Offences and Criminal Defence Solicitor - Manchester

Julie Robertson
Partner, Head of Motoring & Criminal Defences

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