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Drink Driving Special Reasons

There are times when a person is guilty of drink driving, yet there are extenuating circumstances that explain why it happened. These are known as special reasons.

If you can argue a case of special reasons, it may result in a reduced penalty, or none at all. To find out more, contact us for a free initial enquiry.

Call us on 03303411690 or Make an Online Enquiry and we will contact you shortly.

We have successfully defended 91% of all drink driving special reasons cases we have dealt with.

Special reasons in drink driving cases

The law in England and Wales accepts that in certain situation, you may have a valid excuse for operating a vehicle while over the drink drive limit. If so, you have an opportunity to explain this to the court during a special reasons hearing.

If you argue a case of special reasons, you are effectively saying that you are guilty of drink driving. It is not a legal defence, so is not suitable for those who want to protest their innocence. Rather, you are telling the court why it happened.

You need to provide a compelling reason to justify your actions. For example, it could be that –

  • Your drink was spiked and you did not know
  • There was a genuine emergency
  • You were fleeing from danger

This is not an exhaustive list. If there is a reason that explains why you were caught drink driving, contact us at DFR Solicitors. We can advise whether special reasons apply to your case.

What happens when you argue special reasons?

When you argue special reasons, you will already have been convicted of (or pleaded guilty to) drink driving. You must then apply for a special reasons hearing. At the hearing, your case is presented to the court.

To succeed, you need evidence to support your claim. For instance, imagine your drink was spiked and you did not know. If so, you could call witnesses to confirm that your drink was laced. You could also call upon a toxicology expert. A speculative claim could do more harm than good, so having the right evidence is very important.

Then, the court will decide the verdict. This decision will be based on –

  • The special reasons given for drink driving
  • How the vehicle was driven (e.g. safely, dangerously, erratically)
  • The distance the vehicle was driven
  • Your intention as the driver
  • The degree of danger that was presented to other people, including other drivers, passengers and pedestrians

If the court finds in your favour, it could reduce the penalty you have been given. Or, it could decide not to impose a penalty at all.

Drink driving solicitors

As specialist drink driving solicitors, we know how to succeed at a special reasons hearing. We can present your case, producing the evidence needed to persuade the court that mitigating circumstances exist.

To find out if special reasons can be argued in your case, contact us at DFR Solicitors. We are experts in this area of law, having successfully defended 91% of all drink driving special reasons cases we have dealt with.

Make a free enquiry

For a free enquiry, please call us on 03303411690 or Make an Online Enquiry and we will contact you shortly.


  • I was charged with drink driving and my case looked hopeless. There was witness evidence and forensic evidence. From my first meeting with Abdul he reassured me that we could win the case. Abdul was fantastic and the end result is that I am a happy man as I have kept my driving licence and my job.  Scott McDonald.

  • I was initially somewhat sceptical about keeping my licence, I was stopped for Drink Driving and the costs were high, but the result was excellent, and the money was certainly well spent. I would not hesitate to use DFR again. Michael A.

  • I had never been in court previously, and the prospect was terrifying. I was stopped for Drink Driving, and was looking at a significant disqualification. The result in the circumstances was unbelievable, the solicitor was excellent in presenting my case and explaining the extenuating circumstances. I was overjoyed with the final result.