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Caught Drinking and Driving What should you do?

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Drink Driving

We know how daunting it is to get caught drink-driving and how frustrating it is to frantically search for answers online, trying to find reliable information and determine what your options are regarding your case. For simplicity and to help ease the burden of dealing with a drunk driving case, we have compiled this short article on what you should do, what you shouldn't do, and what options are present depending on what situation you are in. You should find all you need in this simple step-by-step guide, which goes through every nuance of the process.


What happens when you get caught drinking and driving?


The Process


Being pulled over by the police

You've just ended a night out with some friends. Your friends recommend you get a taxi, but you think you'll be fine. It may be a short distance away and you've never been pulled over before. As you're driving back home from your night out, you see blue flashing lights behind you.


What should you do?

We urge you to stop to avoid other offences; you will be breathalyzed by the police. If you refuse, your case will become a failure to provide a case. If you blow and it's clear to go, you can carry on your way and no further action shall be taken; if not, you will be taken back to the police station.


The Police Station

At this point, you will be arrested and taken back to the police station for a further breath test using a more accurate machine. Once you have been taken back to the police station, you will be asked a number of questions about how much you have drunk and any medications you take. At this point, you will also be given the opportunity to contact a lawyer, a family member, or a friend to alert them of your situation. You will be booked into the station, your possessions will be taken, and you will be provided a cell.


What should you do?

At this point, we advise complying with the police and contacting a specialist drink-driving solicitor as soon as possible so they can provide you with guidance and help with your situation.


Being Breathalysed

Critically, the reading you give decides how the rest of your case will proceed. You must blow and give a reading, or you will be charged with failure to provide.Breathalyser

ReadingAction Taken
35 or below You will not be charged
above  35 below 60You will be released without a caution or charge but in serious cases, a back calculation may be required
If you blow 40 or above You will be charged and taken back to the police station for further testing.


The  cell

At this point in the process, you will be placed in your cell, which will be a small concrete room with a simple toilet and, if you're lucky, a small window. You will remain in your cell for around 2 hours until the police come back and check your alcohol level. If you blow under the prescribed alcohol limit, which is 35, you will be charged with driving over the prescribed alcohol limit and released. If you blow over 35, you will be left in solitude again until around 2 hours later, and the process will repeat.


Going to court

Once you have been charged and released, you will be summoned to court and given a date to appear before a magistrate or judge. Usually, this will be a few weeks or even months after your release, depending on your case.


At Court

At this point, you will have the opportunity to plead guilty to drinking. If you do, you will have your driving license taken from you and be immediately disqualified from driving. If you do drive during this period, you will be subject to further penalties or even imprisonment. Although there are ways you could decrease your likelihood of a disqualification or reduce your punishment by contacting a specialist drink driving lawyer who will present a defence on your behalf to mitigate any charges.


How can you avoid disqualification for drink driving?


●     Seek the advice of a specialist solicitor.

This is one of the most crucial aspects of your case and will ensure you get the best possible outcome.

●     Challenging the CPS's evidence.

 One of the most common ways we avoid bans for our clients is by challenging the evidence in a number of ways, such as the accuracy of the breathalyser, the procedure followed by the police, and the reliability of any testimonies made against them.

●     Drink Driving rehabilitation courses

One of the best ways to reduce your disqualification would be to attend a rehabilitation course. This shows the court your remorse for the offence committed and your commitment to not commit further offences in the future.

●     An exceptional hardship argument.

 If, by receiving a driving ban, exceptional hardship would be placed upon you or any third party reliant on your ability to drive, this could be a viable option. Usually, exceptional hardship is only granted in cases with specific circumstances, and you will need to provide a strong defense. This is best ensured by having a specialist solicitor in your corner.


Reducing your sentence for Drink Driving 

●     Consider taking a plea.

If the evidence against you is strong, then your best chance to reduce your disqualification is by accepting a reduced ban in exchange for a guilty plea.


What is the Drink Drive limit?

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland  the legal alcohol limit is : 

  • 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (80mg/100ml)

  • 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath (35μg/100ml)

  • 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of urine (107mg/100ml)


Do I require a solicitor for drink driving?

It is important to note that legal aid is not usually provided for drink driving, and you will be required to seek a solicitor or represent yourself, which we do not recommend.

A general solicitor, albeit cheaper, may in some cases even be detrimental to your case due to their not being well equipped and versed in drunk driving cases. That's why I would recommend picking a specialist solicitor, even though it may cost more. With most things, you get what you pay for, and if you pay for an established specialist solicitor, you will receive expert legal representation, unlike if you paid less and received subpar representation.


Why Choose Us?

When it comes to Drink Driving choosing the appropriate solicitor may be the difference between light and day in terms of the outcome of your case. Due to our decades of expertise and extensive track record of dealing with Drink Driving cases, we are an excellent choice for the motorist looking to keep his or her license. Our expert legal team will guide you through the complexities and the plethora of niche legislation surrounding your case. We don't believe in charging for a consultation and would be happy to speak to you and offer our advice on:

0330 341 1690



Charged with Drink Driving Can I still drive until court?


If you have been unfortunately caught drunk driving, then you might wonder if you can drive to court. The short answer to this is no. You will not be able to drive until the matter is resolved in court, and in the meantime, your license will be suspended. It is always best to seek legal advice from a specialist to improve the outcome or avoid a drink-driving conviction.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have compiled the most common questions we receive in regards to Drink Driving.(click)

What is the minimum ban for drink driving?

The minimum ban for Driving above the prescribed alcohol limit is 12 months but can increase depending on the severity of the offense. In some cases, it can be up to 3 years or more.

How long do you get banned for drink driving?

The length of the time appointed by the magistrate's court can vary depending on the severity of the offense for more information regarding your specific situation please don't hesitate to contact us for a free legal consultation.

Can I reduce my drink driving ban?

Yes, it is possible to reduce the length of your disqualification one of the ways we prescribe to clients is by attending a Drink Driving rehabilitation scheme, which can reduce your ban by up to 25%.

How long does drink driving stay on a criminal record?

A drink driving conviction can stay on one's record for up to 11 years meaning it will be present if searched for on standard and enhanced criminal record checks.

Can I lose my job for drink driving?

Yes, it is entirely possible to lose your occupational position if you have been charged with Drink Driving. Employers are well within their rights to dismiss an employee if they feel like they would pose a risk to clients, the public, or the company.

If found guilty of drink driving will my car insurance go up?

As insurers deem those charged with Drink Driving to be of higher risk it is very much likely that your premium will increase as you are deemed to be more likely to be involved in an accident or matters of such likeness. It is also important to note that failure to disclose a Drink Driving charge to your insurer is illegal and may pose further consequences.