Drink Driving Solicitors
What is the current Drink Driving Laws?
If you are driving in England, the current alcohol limit is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine. These limits also apply if you are driving a motor vehicle in Wales or Northern Ireland.
Penalties for breaking the law in the UK can be severe if you are convicted of any of the following driving offences:
- Driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol (while exceeding the legal limit)
- Being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol (while exceeding the legal limit)
- Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink (alcohol) or drugs
- Being in charge of a motor vehicle while unfit through drink (alcohol) or drugs
- Failing to co-operate with a preliminary roadside breath test when required to do so
- Failing to provide an evidential specimen (blood, breath or urine) for analysis while driving or attempting to drive a vehicle
- Failing to provide an evidential specimen (blood, breath or urine) for analysis while in charge of a vehicle
- Failing to give permission for a laboratory test of a specimen of blood taken while that person was incapable of consenting
You would have a criminal record if you are convicted of any of the above motoring offences, and this could have a severe impact on your employment and other activities such as travel.
You also need to consider the cost of motor insurance as having a conviction for drink driving, would increase your cost of motor insurance significantly.
So what happens if you get caught drinking and driving?
The penalties for drink diving in the UK are severe, and you could face imprisonment and be banned from driving if you are found guilty in court. You could also be issued with a hefty fine. The amount of fine would be determined by the magistrate who deals with your case in court.
Sentencing guidelines if you are found guilty of drink driving offences are:
Road Traffic Act 1988, s.5(1)(a) – Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit.
|Level of alcohol||Starting Point||Range||Disqualification||Disqualification (2nd offence in 10 years)|
|Breath(ug)||Blood (ml)||Urine (ml)|
|36-59||81 137||108 183||Band C Fine||Band B Band C Fine||12 16 months||36 40 months|
|60-89||138 206||184 274||Band C Fine||Band C Fine Low level community order||17-22 months||36 46 months|
|90 119||207 275||275 366||Medium level community order||Low level community order to high level community order||23 28 months||36 52 months|
|120 150 and above||276 345 and above||367 459 and above||12 weeks custody||High level community order to 26 weeks custody||29 36 months (Extend if imposing immediate custody)||36 60 months|
Road Traffic Act 1988, s.5(1)(b) – Being in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place
|Level of alcohol||Starting Point||Range||Disqualification/points|
|Breath(ug)||Blood (ml)||Urine (ml)|
|36-59||81-137||108-183||Band B Fine||Band A Band B Fine||10 points|
|60-89||138-206||184-274||Band B Fine||Band B Fine Band C Fine||Consider disqualification or 10 points|
|90 119||207-275||275 366||Band C Fine||Band C Fine – Medium level community order||Consider disqualification up to 6 months or 10 points|
|120 150 and above||276 345 and above||367 459 and above||Medium level community order||Low level community order to 6 weeks custody||Disqualify 6-12 months (Extend if imposing immediate custody)|
Drink Driving Frequently asked questions:
What happens if I get stopped by the Police for Drink Driving?
If you are stopped by the Police for suspected drink driving, you will be required to give a specimen of breath, blood or urine to ascertain if you are above the legal drink-drive limits in the UK. If you refuse to provide a sample, you can face unlimited fines, a lengthy ban from driving and a significant custodial sentence if convicted.
Should I engage a solicitor for Drink Driving?
If you are taken to the police station and arrested for drink driving, you should engage our services immediately. We have experienced drink driving solicitors, and you should call us as soon as you have the chance. You will need representation at the police station and also in Magistrates’ Court.
We will represent you and advise you at each step of the process, and if you are guilty of the offence, look at the best way to mitigate and secure a lenient sentence.
Do all Driving Offences go to court?
The most serious of offences, including driving while under the influence of alcohol or dangerous driving, will be dealt with at Court.
What happens in court for drink driving?
If it is the first hearing of a drink driving case, the court will expect you to enter a plea. If you plead guilty to the drink driving charge, the prosecutor will offer a summary of the case and the circumstances, and we will attempt to mitigate on your behalf. It will then be up to the magistrate as to the penalty imposed.
How long does it take to be taken to court for drink driving
For offences of Drink Driving and the Police have six months from the date of the alleged offences in which to either charge you or lay information at the court
What are Special Reasons for Drinking Driving Offences?
Special Reasons are most commonly argued in ’emergency’ situations, and the courts have made clear that, for Special Reasons to exist in this type of situation, specific criteria must be fulfilled.
There is a considerable burden upon anyone accused seeking to rely upon Special Reasons to justify driving while over the legal limit.
Does the situation constitute a genuine emergency?
- Was there any other reasonable alternative course of action open to you other than driving?
- The driving must be in response to this genuine emergency. Once the emergency has passed, the driving must immediately cease
- Very short distance driven (moving car a few yards to safety)
- A drivers drink being laced or spiked without their knowledge
Consideration should always be given to matters of public safety. When special reasons are put forward in drink driving cases, the sentencing court must consider the following:
- the reason for driving the motor vehicle;
- the distance the motor vehicle was driven;
- how the motor vehicle was driven;
- the condition of the motor vehicle which was driven;
- whether or not the driver intended to drive the motor vehicle further;
- the road and traffic conditions at the time the offence took place; and
- the possibility of danger to other road users at the time