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?
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.
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.
|35 or below||You will not be charged|
|above 35 below 60||You 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.|
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 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:
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.