If you have been arrested for drink driving or have been bailed to attend a police station in respect of a drink driving allegation, it is imperative that you seek legal advice immediately from specialist Drink Driving Solicitors so that you are aware of your options and any defences that you may have in respect of this allegation.
It is an offence under s4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road or public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit
If you have been charged with Drink Driving, the prosecution will need to prove that at the time of you driving your vehicle you had excess alcohol in your breath, blood or urine
The legal limits for Drink Driving are as follows:
- 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath
- 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood
- 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine
It is an offence to drive in excess of alcohol on a road or public place. Therefore, if you have been driving on private land, albeit driving having consumed alcohol above the prescribed limit, you would not be guilty of drink driving. The offence of drink driving is only committed if you have driven on a road or public place. You would therefore have a valid defence to the charge. To establish if you have a defence contact our Drink Driving Solicitors now.
Post Incident Consumption Defence
You may have a defence if you consumed alcohol after driving but before you provided a breath test. In such circumstances it would be necessary to show that at the time of driving, you would have been below the legal limit to drive. For this, expert forensic evidence would be required to allow the Court to appreciate that at the time of driving you would have been below the legal limit. This is commonly referred to as the ‘hip flask defence’. Please see a case study below for an example of such a scenario.
It is imperative that the police officers carry out the breath test procedure in the correct manner and in doing so are required to follow complex rules and procedures. If these measures have not been rigorously executed by the officers or if you believe that the breath/blood/urine reading you produced does not coincide with the amount of alcohol you consumed, then you may have a defence.
The following are just a few examples of procedural failings by police officers:
- Failure in operating the breath test machine in the correct manner
- Non compliance with Home Office Guidelines in the servicing and use of the breath test machine
- Warning of prosecution not provided at the time the breath/blood/urine samples were requested
- If there is a substantial difference in time between the taking of one breath sample to the next. The timings would be detailed on the breath test print out
- Where the officers have failed to complete the breathalyser forms correctly or have failed to ask key risk assessment questions immediately prior to the taking of the sample
- Where the officers have failed to offer a blood/urine option if the breath reading produced is within a specific range
If you decided to drive your vehicle having consumed excess alcohol, then you may be able to rely on the defence of Duress if the reason you drove was a direct consequence of either you or another facing an immediate threat of death or serious injury. However, if you caused the situation and if as a result of this there was an immediate threat of death or serious injury then you would not be able to rely on Duress as a defence.
Our Drink Driving Solicitors have vast experience in dealing with Drink Drive cases. We will assess your circumstances and advise you whether you have a defence. In some cases it may be necessary to assess what evidence the prosecution have against you before we can advise you in respect of a defence. If we do not believe that you have a defence to the allegation, we will inform you of this and the aim will then be to carry out a damage limitation exercise with a view to securing the most lenient sentence.
Special Reasons – Drink Driving
In circumstances where no defence can be put forward, it may be possible to save your licence by arguing ‘Special Reasons’. Please see our section on Law on Special Reasons for more information on this area. Our Drink Driving Solicitors prepare and advance Specials Reasons arguments almost on a daily basis. Examples of Special Reasons in cases of drink driving include spiked or laced drinks, driving in the event of an emergency, medical condition/emergency or travelling a very short distance. These circumstances may well give rise to a Special Reasons argument. If any of these circumstances apply to you, give us a call now and a member of our experienced Drink Driving Solicitors will assess your circumstances and advise you on your legal position.
Sentencing in Drink Driving Offences
If you are convicted of Drink Driving, you will face a mandatory driving disqualification for a minimum period of 12 months. The greater your alcohol level, the greater the length of the driving disqualification. If your alcohol level is vastly above the legal limit, the Court may consider a community order and in extremely serious cases, a prison sentence.
If you are being investigated for Drink Driving or you have been charged with a Drink Driving related offence, call now on 0800 6441544 and ask to speak to one of our Drink Driving Solicitors. Alternatively, if you wish for us to call you at a time convenient for you, fill in our Contact us form and one of our Drink Driving Solicitors will contact you.
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Our client was facing prosecution for drink driving.
He had consumed some alcohol at a birthday party which he had held for his daughter. The party took place at a venue opposite his house and so at the conclusion of the party, being just before midnight, he walked the short distance home and fell asleep.
Approximately four hours later, he received a call from his son’s friend. His son had got into a fight with some people they had met. Our client immediately drove to the location to attend to his son. He tried to break up the fight but when this failed and he saw the injuries sustained by his son, he got physical himself. The fight died down and the intention was to drive his son to A&E so that the wounds could be attended to. However, the son insisted that he wanted to come home and rest.
Upon arriving home, they went into the kitchen. His wife tried to dress the wounds as best she could. They were discussing the happenings. At this point our client was fuming and decided to pour himself a large glass of whisky. Shortly thereafter the police arrived at the house. They had received a report from a witness claiming that our client had been drink driving. Immediately our client had a feeling that this could only have been made by the boys who had got into a fight with his son.
We advised our client to plead not guilty on the basis of post alcohol consumption (hip flask defence). We instructed an expert who carried out an assessment of the total alcohol consumed before and after driving along with the times of consumption and confirmed that it was the post alcohol consumption consisting of the glass of whisky that had taken our client above the limit and that prior to consuming this alcohol, at the time of driving, he had been below the legal limit.
Armed with this expert evidence along with witnesses in the form of our client’s wife and son, our Drink Driving Solicitors prepared the case diligently and our client was found not guilty in respect of the offence
Result: Not Guilty after trialContact us