Drink Driving Offences
Have you been charged with a Drink Driving Offence?
It is an offence to drive or be in charge of a vehicle if you are over the legal alcohol limit or under the influence of alcohol. Failure to provide a breath, blood or urine specimen when required to do so by the police is also an offence. If convicted, you face a driving ban of at least 12 months. This could have serious implications for your job, business or family.
Drink driving defences
With the help of an expert Solicitor, there are a number of defences and other factors which may apply to save your licence or limit the sentence.
For example, errors in the intoxilyser procedure, or failures in police or forensic procedures in relation to blood samples may provide you with a defence. You may also have a defence if the level of alcohol is due to consumption of alcohol after driving.Case Study: Incorrect Police Procedures
Our client was arrested for drink driving and charged with failing to provide a sample of blood. Due to a needle phobia, he was unable to give a blood sample. At trial, and under our strenuous cross examination, the breathalyser operator was unable to give a satisfactory explanation as to why he had not requested a sample of breath rather than a sample of blood. He also failed to state that he had given the statutory warning relating to failure to provide a specimen.
By demonstrating that correct procedures had not been followed by the police, we were able to establish that there was no case to answer. The Magistrates therefore dismissed the charge and our client’s legal costs were refunded by the Court. He would have faced an inevitable disqualification if convicted and that would have meant the loss of his job.”
Defences to failure to provide a specimen
Failure to provide a specimen of breath, blood, or urine when required without a reasonable excuse is also an offence. There are a number of possible defences, for example being unable to provide the specimen required. Supporting evidence is usually required and we can obtain the necessary medical or other evidence on your behalf.
Defences to being in charge with excess alcohol
It is a defence for the motorist to prove that he would be unlikely to drive while over the limit. Forensic evidence in support is usually required. We can obtain this on your behalf.
In all cases, we will meticulously check the evidence against you and uncover any failings in forensic or police procedures. If you have a defence, we’ll find it. If not, we’ll concentrate on minimizing the sentence and reducing the length of any ban.
In some cases, even if you plead guilty or are convicted, you may still be able to avoid a driving ban altogether if “Special Reasons” exist. Special Reasons may apply if, for example, you were driving only a very short distance, driving in an emergency, or someone laced your drinks. Special Reasons can be hard to establish and will usually require supporting evidence.
Even if a ban is unavoidable, we are often able to persuade the Court to impose a disqualification that is shorter than the standard drink driving sentencing guidelines.
Our damage limitation strategy has helped avoid or minimize driving bans for hundreds of clients and we’re often chosen by other barristers and solicitors to represent them, winning cases others thought were unwinnable.
Contact us today on 0161 834 9494 if you’re facing a drink driving offence.
Sentencing for drink drivingDrink Driving Sentencing Guidelines
Conviction for drink driving, usually leads to disqualification from driving for at least 12 months, a heavy fine and in some cases even prison. The length of ban depends on a number of factors, including how far over the limit you were, any previous convictions, and any record of poor driving. You may be able to reduce any ban by up to 25%, if you agree to go on a voluntary drink driving education course.
Why you should contact Richard Silver
Richard Silver is an expert motoring lawyer, with almost thirty years’ experience in drink driving cases. If you have a defence, he’ll find it. If not, he’ll concentrate on damage limitation.
Appeal and early removal of disqualification
If you were banned for drink driving, or any other motoring offence, two or more years ago, we can apply to the Court for early removal of the disqualification, and we have successfully done so in many cases. If you have already been convicted or sentenced, we can advise on whether you have grounds for appeal.