At Rodney King & Partners solicitors we have a great deal of experience in defending all types of motoring offences including drink driving offences.
We understand that your driving licence is an essential part of your life. For many people their employment and family life depend heavily on being able to drive.
We aim to achieve the most favourable outcome for our clients who are charged with any drink driving offence. In some cases this may be an acquittal, in others it may mean minimising the sentence imposed by the Court.
Contact us to speak to a solicitor and find out how we may be able to help you.
The law states that if you drive a motor vehicle on a public road or public place with excess alcohol in your breath, blood or urine above the prescribed limit, then you have committed an offence.
The legal limits are:
The most common penalty for a drink driving offence is an automatic disqualification of 12 months. This may be increased up to 60 months for repeat offenders, or for first-time offenders with very high alcohol readings. In extreme circumstances a prison sentence may be given by the Court.
The law requires you to provide a specimen for testing either at the roadside or at the Police Station. If you fail to do this then you can be charged with Failure to Provide a Specimen, the penalties for which are broadly similar to the penalties for drink driving offences.
See out page on Failure to Provide a Specimen for more information.
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to enter a plea of ‘not guilty’. Our solicitors will assess your case and tell you if this approach will be suitable for you.
For example, we may advise that the approach should be to defend your case upon the basis of the incorrect procedure being followed by the Police.
Strict procedures exist which set out the protocol that the Police must follow in dealing with someone at the roadside who has failed a breath test. This initial roadside test offers an indication only to the police officer to determine if they have grounds for arrest and is not recognised by the Courts as giving a reading that can lead to a conviction.
This means that a breathalyser test alone is not enough evidence to secure a conviction for drink driving. If a roadside test indicates that you are over the legal limit then the Police must carry out a further fixed position breathalyser test or obtain a urine or blood sample for testing at the Police Station.
Strict procedures must be followed by the Police and anyone administering the tests for this evidence to be permissible by the Courts. Failure to carry out any of the procedures correctly may allow the charge to be successfully challenged.
A number of other defences for drink driving exist which may be relevant to your situation.
Please see our page on defences against motoring offences allegations for more information.
You do not need a solicitor to represent you at Court, but would be well advised to consider obtaining one, and particularly if your case is complicated and/or you think you might want to plead not guilty. A Court will not be impressed by someone with little understanding of the law trying to defend themselves based on hearsay and incorrect advice.
A solicitor with specialist knowledge and experience of motoring law will offer you the best chance of achieving a favourable outcome in your case.
Contact us to speak to one of our solicitors and to find out how we can help you.