Drink Driving Offences

Losing your driving licence could have a dramatic impact on your life and livelihood. If you are arrested by the police the advice of an experienced drink-driving offence solicitor can be your best chance of keeping your licence.

Our Road Traffic Offence team offer a tailor-made service to individuals and commercial clients. We are available to represent you at any police station at any time of day or night for immediate representation. We can meet you in person or give you advice over the phone.

If you are caught drink-driving, drunk in charge or driving whilst unfit through drugs and require representation, IBB has an experienced team of solicitors who have years of experience in representing those facing drink-drive charges. Our solicitors will carefully consider all the elements of the offence and build your defence on that basis, whilst always keeping you informed of the progress of your case. Early expert advice on drink-driving laws is imperative and may save you from being disqualified from driving. We will give you clear advice to help you decide on your plea, help you prepare to go to Court and everything we can to keep you on the road.

Drink-Driving Offences: Driving Whilst Over the Drink-Drive Limit

The law states that it is an offence to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a public road or place to which the public have access, whilst in excess of the prescribed alcohol limit. Currently the legal limit in breath stands at 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood and 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

The procedure from arrest to charge is complex and technical, requiring close attention to detail. Whilst the procedure should be second nature to many a police officer, if an evidential specimen of either urine, blood or breath is not taken properly, this could amount to a defence.

Drink-Driving – Drunk in Charge

It is an offence to be ‘in charge’ of a vehicle whilst in excess of the prescribed limit. This charge is usually considered by the police if they cannot establish the ‘driving’ element of the offence. Immediately, the police and prosecution case against you could be weak. Because penalties can be as severe as if you had been caught drink-driving, early advice from our driving offence experts to establish whether or not all elements of the offence is essential.

Changes to Drink Driving Provisions

From 10th April 2015 changes to the gathering of evidential samples in cases of driving with excess alcohol came  into force.
Prior to April 10th 2015
  • Section 8 (1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that of any two specimens of breath provided for analysis, that the sample with the lower reading is the one used and the other is disregarded.
  • Section 8 (2) provides that if the specimen with the lower proportion of alcohol contains no more than 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath the person who provided it may claim that it should be replaced by a specimen of blood or urine. If he provides such a specimen neither specimen of breath can be used. This is frequently referred to as the “statutory option”.

After April 10th 2015

Section 52 (a) of the Deregulation Act 2015 which came into force on 10th April will result in the following changes:
  • Removal of the option to replace the breath sample with blood or urine so that the breath sample will be the evidence relied upon by the prosecution.
  • Will enable a police officer to request an evidential breath test at the road side where a portable evidential breath test device is available without first requesting a preliminary test
  • In circumstances where the RTA previously provided that a medical practitioner could advise as to whether or not a specimen should be taken from a person suspected of being impaired by a drug the amendments allow for this advice to be provided by a registered health care professional who can also take a blood sample from a person who may be incapable of consenting to the specimen being taken.

Failing to Provide an Evidential Specimen

These driving offences usually occur where a defendant is suspected of drink-driving, is arrested but refuses/fails to provide a specimen to allow the police to prove that they’re over the prescribed alcohol limit. However, defences can arise if the procedure is not properly conducted or if the defendant had a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a specimen. Due to the very technical nature area of this area of law, urgent, early, expert advice is essential from our drink-driving specialists.

Mitigation

Our drink-drive lawyers are experienced advocates who will tailor your mitigation to assist a sentencing court if you plead or are found guilty. This extends to the technical Special Reasons Argument, which if successfully argued can result in the court allowing you to retain your licence, even if you have been convicted of a drink-drive related offence. Successful arguments can be based on shortness of distance or if the driver was unaware that his/her drink was spiked prior to driving. There are many myths surrounding “special reasons” or “exceptional hardship” and we will give you honest advice on whether these are realistic in your case.

Drug-Driving Offences

The police and prosecution are now all too aware of the dangers of mixing drugs and driving. Technical tests are being brought in to make the job of convicting those charged with these types of offences that much easier. Coupled with expert medical evidence, no stone is left unturned in what used to be a difficult offence to prove. At IBB, our drug-driving offence experts will thoroughly dissect each step of the prosecution case to make sure you are properly advised.

Drink-Driving Sentences

The court will usually look at imposing a minimum 12-month driving ban, but this could depend not only on the reading, but also if there have been more than two convictions within 10 years of the current offence.

Costs

Cases of this nature very rarely attract public funding. However if you are a repeat offender or have provided a high reading, usually over three times the prescribed limit, you may be eligible for legal aid – subject to finances. Feel free to call our drink-drive experts for an initial quote.

Those who do not qualify for legal aid will find our private client rates competitive, and we will keep you up to date on costs involved so you avoid any nasty surprises.  We can sometimes provide fixed fees depending on the nature of the case so please give one of our driving offence solicitors a call for a quote.

Experienced drink driving solicitors

Here at IBB we urge you to drink responsibly and drive safely but should you ever need to speak to one of our drink-driving lawyers we are here to help. Call us on 0330 999 4999  for advice or  immediate representation at a police station, day or night. Alternatively please email roadtraffic@ibblaw.co.uk.


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Drinking Driving Offences and the Law (UK)