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Drink Driving

Drink driving is a serious offence and being convicted of driving whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit can have far-reaching effects.

The consequences of a drink driving conviction can mean that you may lose your job and the independence that a driving licence gives you. Expert advice from a specialist road traffic solicitor should be sought both at the Police Station and as soon as possible thereafter and certainly before the first appearance at the Magistrates Court.

Unless the case is successfully defended, or Special Reason exist you will face a mandatory disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months. You will also receive a fine but in the more serious cases, can be considered for a community penalty such as unpaid work or even face a possible prison sentence.

drink driving solicitors

The potential disqualification period always depends on the level of the alcohol reading providing and evidential readings can be provided by breath, blood or urine. The drink driving limit is currently set at 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, or 108mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine.

Drink driving is a particularly technical area of law and procedures that take place at the roadside, in a Police Station or at a hospital are of particular importance. Failure by the police to comply with the statutory requirements can amount to a defence. Medical issues can also often apply in these cases and again could amount to a defence.

By calling Freeman & Co. you can be assured that you will have an expert team of road traffic solicitors working on your case and ensuring that you get the best possible outcome.

Drink Driving At A Glance

It is an offence to drive, attempt to drive, or be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or public place if the alcohol in your system; your blood, breath, or urine, exceeds the stated limits.

The current drink driving limits are:

  • 35 micrograms (mcg) alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath
  • 80 milligrams (mg) alcohol per 100ml of blood
  • 107 milligrams (mg)alcohol per 100ml of urine

Since 2014, a lower limit of 50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood has been in force in Scotland.

The level of alcohol in your body at the time of the offence is presumed to be the same as the result of the analysis of the breath, blood, or urine sample.

It is possible to challenge this if you can demonstrate that:

You had consumed alcohol after you stopped driving, but before the specimen for analysis was provided, and

Had you not consumed that alcohol, you would not have been over the limit, and

Your ability to drive would not have been impaired.

If you are alleged to be “being in charge” of the vehicle, it can be a legitimate defence if you demonstrate that there was no likelihood of you driving while you were over the limit.

Failing To Provide A Specimen

It is an offence and you risk automatic disqualification if:

  • You fail to provide a specimen of breath for a preliminary breath test, or
  • You fail to provide a specimen of breath, blood, or urine at the police station when requested unless you have a reasonable excuse (a physical or mental inability to provide the same), or
  • You refuse to provide a specimen.

It is considered a refusal if you try to delay giving a sample until your legal representation arrives.

You should never refuse to give a specimen unless there is a relevant medical reason, regardless of whether you feel a refusal is justified.

Refusal is considered an offence, and if the court doesn’t accept your reasons for refusal, that will be added to the charges.

Being Unfit To Drive Through Drink Or Drugs

It is an offence to drive, attempt to drive, or be in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or public place if you are unfit through drink or drugs.

You may be considered unfit if your ability to drive properly is impaired, even if the alcohol levels in your system are below the legal limits.

Erratic driving, an accident, or your condition may all be considered evidence of being unfit.

Drink Driving Penalties

It is not possible to say exactly what penalties a court may impose in any particular case. Prison, a large fine, and disqualification from driving are all possible, depending on the circumstances and the offence.

Drink driving convictions also affect the cost of your car insurance and may prevent you travelling to other countries.

Drink Driving Sentencing Guidelines

Maximum: Level 5 fine and/or 6 months custody.


Must endorse and disqualify for at least 12 months.

Must disqualify for at least 2 years if the offender has had 2 or more disqualifications for periods of 56 days or more in the preceding 3 years.

Must disqualify for at least 3 years if the offender has been convicted of a relevant offence in preceding 10 years.

Drink Driving Defences

Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be a number of defences available to you. Drink driving is a complicated area of law and you need to seek advice and representation from a solicitor experienced in drink driving cases.

What To Do Now

Freeman & Co. Solicitors are market leaders in all matters of drink driving and road traffic law, we are really easy to contact. You can call us on 0161 236 7007 or send us a confidential email by clicking here.

Call Nick Freeman on 0161 236 7007

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