Our specialist lawyers at Olliers have an exemplary record of defending allegations of drink driving and win the vast majority of cases we take on. If we advise you to defend your case, then it is because we genuinely feel that we can win.
Please contact us at your earliest opportunity to discuss the options available to you if you are charged with this offence, or alternatively read more about the offence/options below.
Driving with Excess Alcohol (Drink Driving)
In the UK, drink driving is defined as an offence in section 5(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988:
“Driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in a person’s breath exceeds the prescribed limit“.
The MINIMUM PENALTY for drink driving is a 12 month disqualification and an unlimited fine.
In order for the CPS to convict you of drink driving, they must be able to prove that the proportion of alcohol in your body exceeded the following limits:
- 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath
- 80 mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood
- 107 mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine
The fact that the police have obtained a specimen from you that has tested positive as being over the prescribed limit, DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN THAT YOU CAN BE CONVICTED!
The type of sample you have provided will differ depending on the circumstances of your individual case. Regardless of which sample has been obtained, the police must follow rigid procedures in order to obtain this evidence and this is where our genuine expertise could make a difference and save your licence.
What should I do if I have been charged with drink driving?
If you are unsure of the best way to proceed then please contact one of our team to discuss your options. The vast majority of people who contact us are unaware (and initially sceptical) of any potential defence that may be available to them until they have sought our expert advice.
It is often difficult to confirm at the outset whether or not you can defend your case until we have had opportunity to review the evidence against you. It is with this in mind that we can offer you an investigation into the charges against you for a fixed fee.
We can review the evidence that the CPS has against you and provide you with our full advice on the prospects of success in your individual case. No two cases of drink driving are ever exactly the same and it is important that we consider the specifics of your case before advising you of the chances of success.
Once you have received our advice, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to defend the allegation or accept the penalty, and one of our team will be on hand to discuss any concerns you may have about your case. An initial investigation is what has led to the majority of our clients successfully defending their case.
Defending Drink Driving
If you know that you wish to defend the charges against you then please contact us as soon as possible (even if you have not been formally charged). The team at Olliers adopt a “no stone unturned” approach to defending cases and we will want to get started as soon as possible. A pre-emptive approach can often help secure key evidence, e.g. CCTV evidence, that may be otherwise destroyed if there is a delay between being charged and actually appearing in court.
We have found that most of our clients are happy to know that, if they choose to defend the charges, they can continue driving for as long as proceedings are ongoing.
We must stress again however that this is a very specialist niche area of law and a general criminal lawyer (and not an expert) may give you very different advice to our expert advice, simply due to the fact that this is not their main area of practice. The lawyers in our motoring department are specialists dedicated to motoring law and therefore are fully conversant with its complexities. You should keep this in mind if you have spoken to other, more general firms.
Blood or Urine Samples
There are various circumstances when the police can take a blood or urine sample as opposed to breath and you may have been bailed to return to the police station. The legislation governing the taking of such samples are extremely strict and it is not uncommon for mistakes to be made. We have an extremely high success rate of successfully defending cases where a blood or urine sample has been taken.
You should have been given your own sample to have independently analysed and we urge you to do this immediately. The booklet of approved laboratories can be found on the Royal Society of Chemistry website. If you are unsure where to send your sample then please contact us and one of our lawyers will be happy to recommend a laboratory.
I have not been charged yet, do I need to instruct you now?
The key to our success is preparation and you give yourself a much higher chance of success if you obtain representation (or at the very least seek our advice) as early as possible. One of the first steps we take at Olliers Motor Law is to take a full and extremely detailed statement from you. If you wait until you are formally charged, you may find that you have forgotten some of the more important details that may have proven to be beneficial to your case.
It is important to be aware of the penalties for drink driving before deciding to plead guilty. The penalty is largely dependent upon how high your alcohol reading was but other circumstances will also be taken into account such as:
- First Offence
The minimum penalty for a first offender is 12 months disqualification from driving and an unlimited fine.
- Second Offence within a 10 Year Period
The minimum penalty instantly increases to a 3 year disqualification solely on the basis that it is a second offence within 10 years.
- Second Offence within a 3 Year Period and/or an Extremely High Alcohol Level
The court will consider imposing a prison sentence of up to 6 months, in addition to a disqualification and fine.
Impact of a Drink Driving Conviction
Most people already know about the mandatory disqualification from driving, but there are some long term consequences that many people do not consider such as:
- Your ability to work
- A significant increase of your insurance premiums (often by thousands!)
- Restrictions on travel
- Social stigma
- A criminal conviction which will remain on your record indefinitely and on your licence for 11 years
We understand that almost everybody will want to secure the minimum penalty in light of the above and offer a fixed fee service to help you achieve this.
This level of representation includes the meticulous preparation of your case, one of our specialist lawyers on hand for advice over the telephone any time between 8am and 10pm and a specialist court advocate who will accompany you to court and conduct the hearing for you.
Specialist Motoring Solicitors
If you are facing an allegation of drink driving, contact our team of specialist lawyers who can advise you in relation to your options and arrange to advise and represent you at court.