Drink Driving Solicitors
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Common Questions

We understand you are likely to want immediate answers to your motoring law questions and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is probably why you are reading this page!

We know we can offer numerous options to resolve the problems you face and the best way for us to give specific advice to you is if you get in touch on Freephone 08000 85 27 84.

However, we have also set out some common motoring law questions on this page to help you:

1. How many drinks can I have and drive?

There is no definitive answer to this question because much depends on you. Your height, weight, waist measurement, sex, what you have had to eat, the % of alcohol in the drinks you intend to have and the timings of the drinks are all highly relevant variables.

The safest way to be sure that you remain under the legal limit when you drive is to avoid alcohol altogether.

So many of our clients were arrested when they believed they were under the legal limit. It just simply is not worth having to deal with the possible drink driving consequences to “chance it” so our advice is if you plan on drinking, plan your transport too.

2. Does a drink drive charge show up on a CRB check?

Yes, a drink driving conviction is classed as a criminal offence and it will show up on a CRB check.

3. How long does a drink drive charge stay on my licence?

The DR10 (the DVLA code for drink driving) is endorsed on your licence once convicted of the drink drive offence. It remains on your licence for 11 years following conviction. It is there for so long because the law defines a repeat drink driving offence as one that occurs within 10 years of the previous offence and your penalty for a repeat drink drive offence starts at a minimum 3 year disqualification.

Your drink drive conviction no longer “counts” after 10 years but it remains on your licence for 11 years.

4. Do I have to inform my insurers about my drink drive case?

Every insurer has their own smallprint terms and conditions so we would recommend you take a look at these or make an anonymous enquiry with your insurers about this question. We are pretty certain that a drink driving conviction will have to be reported but you may not be obliged to report an arrest or a drink driving charge that you intend to defend. (Despite the attitude of some courts, you are after all, innocent unless proven guilty!)

5. What is the UK drink driving limit?

The drink driving legal limit is dependent on the type of sample you provide:

  • In breath the legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath;
  • In blood,  the legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood;  and
  • In urine, the legal alchol limit is 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

The police do have a discretion when it comes to the breath reading and will allow you to leave the police station without charge if you provide a reading of 36-39 microgrammes. However, the same discretion is not applied to blood or urine readings. Even if you are only 1 milligram over, you will be charged.

6. Should I have been offered a blood test when I was arrested for drink driving?

The laws relating to drink drive procedure are extremely complex as there are some things the police must do and some you may think are mandatory but they are not.

The police do not have to offer a blood test to you if you have been arrested for drink driving. However, there are a few scenarios where they do have to offer the option or make a requirement of a blood or urine sample in place of a breath test:

  • a) there are medical reasons why you are unable to provide a breath sample;
  • b) the breath testing equipment is unavailable or not operating reliably; or
  • c) you provide a breath reading but one of the readings is considered borderline (50 micrograms or less).
7. What defences are available to drink driving?

How long have you got?! Over our 13 years representing motorists for drink driving cases, the Geoffrey Miller legal team have applied hundreds, if not, thousands of valid and successful defences to drink driving charges.

Some of the defences we have presented are unknown to other lawyers let alone members of the public and to some extent, they are our trade secrets and so we do not plan on publishing details on our website. However, if you want to have the most innovative and knowledgeable drink driving experts handle your defence, all you need to do is contact us for more case specific information about your possible solutions.

8. How long before drink driving becomes a spent conviction?

A conviction becomes “spent” after a set period of time depending on the penalty imposed. Once “spent” it is treated as though it is forgotten for various purposes such as visa applications, job applications, applying for insurance etc.

A drink driving conviction becomes spent 5 years from the date of conviction. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 outlines the legal position on spent convictions.

9. Can you drive after being caught drink driving?

When you leave the police station following a drink drive arrest, it is likely that you are able to legally drive as the police have no power to disqualify you. They can impose a bail condition before you attend court that you are unable to drive but we have never encountered this in any of our cases.

It is likely that you can then continue to drive until you plead guilty at court or, if you are planning on defending the charge, providing you are found NOT GUILTY at trial, your licence remains unaffected.

On rare occasions where the court has concerns over re-offending or your health (e.g. where you have had a blackout at the wheel) the court may impose an interim disqualification whilst your case is ongoing.

If found guilty of drink driving, you will face an immediate minimum driving ban so we always advise clients against driving to court for a sentencing hearing or trial as you may not be able to drive yourself home again.

10. How does drink driving affect insurance?

Many insurers will refuse to insure you following a drink driving conviction.

Of those who continue to offer insurance following a drink driving conviction, they will all take advantage of the much smaller market and charge a significantly increased premium. Most insurers will take your conviction into account for a period of 5 years.

11. Will the police tell my employer about my drink driving conviction?

This depends on what you do. There are some professions that are subject to regulation such as doctors and lawyers. The courts will notify organisations such as the General Medical Council, about your conviction. However, if you work in private industry, the court will NOT notify your employer of your conviction.

You may be contractually obliged to self-report the conviction but this will be a matter for you to consider depending on your own contract of employment or HR handbook.

12. Do I have to retake my driving test after being convicted of drink driving?

The disqualification imposed by the court for the offence of drink driving will not involve you having to take a retest after the period of disqualification ends. However, the DVLA may require you to undergo a medical if you are convicted of a repeat drink driving offence or a “high” reading drink drive offence.

13. Will my drink driving case be heard by a jury?

No. Drink driving is a summary only offence meaning it is heard in the Magistrates’ Court. Jury trials are only conducted in the Crown Court. Your case will be determined by a lay bench of Magistrates or by a single judge.

14. Which court will my drink driving case be heard in?

Your case will be dealt with at the local Magistrates’ Court closest to the police station of the arresting officer in the case.

If you are appealing a drink drive conviction, your appeal may be in the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court or the High Court.

15. How long will my drink driving case last for?

Much depends on the nature of your plea.If pleading guilty, we would expect your hearing to last for around 30 minutes or so but if there is a lot of evidence to present, it could take longer than this.

If pleading guilty, it is fairly common for the case to be brought before the court within 1 week to 10 days of your arrest.

If you are at risk of a custodial penalty, the court will probably adjourn your case for pre-sentence reports to be compiled by a probation officer and then list the sentencing hearing for a date a week or two following the first hearing.

16. Can I get Legal Aid to defend drink driving?

It is unlikely that many motorists will qualify for legal aid to fund representation for a drink driving offence. The reasons for this are primarily down to the government seeking to reduce the public funding bill and the offence of drink driving being considered too minor to warrant a lawyer at the expense of the public purse. In any event, most motoring law specialists do not work on legal aid rates, typically £60 per hour.

Many motoring policies contain a provision for your defence costs to be paid under the terms of a legal expenses policy. If you have legal expenses cover to assist with this case, please inform us immediately so that we can make the necessary arrangements for the insurer to agree to indemnify your costs.

Please note most insurers have non-expert panel solicitors to represent policyholders under the terms of the policy. Despite what your insurers may tell you, you have freedom of choice to appoint your own solicitors and we are happy to assist in liaising with the insurers on your behalf.

Again, as insurers tend to also seek to save money where they can, they may limit the extent of your cover to legal aid rates. In this situation, we can treat the funds available pursuant to your policy as a partial subsidy with you making up the shortfall.

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Not Sure What to Do About Your Driving Offence?

Most people who get in touch with our team of motor offence expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the drink driving offence charge they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.

We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 08000 85 27 84 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange installment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.

If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our drink driving ban calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.

We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it, our unique “ask our clients” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.

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“Not sure where to start… But, thank you. You held my hand through the 9 months and I couldn’t have asked for more. Your team did a very awesome job and the selected advocate’s performance brilliant. They all have played an amazing part and have made me have a smile even while writing this. Kudos Geoffrey Miller Solicitors! Read More

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Drink Driving / Acquitted

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Drug Driving / Case Discontinued

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Drink Driving / Case Dropped

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Drink Driving / Ban Reduced

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“Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are outstanding. From the first day I called them about my accusation of drink driving, they calmed me down and helped me each step of the way. The barrister at my trial was first class, delivered the verdict I was hoping for and saved my driving licence. Would recommend to anyone else in the same situation… Read More

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Anonymous 19 Drug Driving Testimonial
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“I was charged with driving whilst unfit through (prescription) drugs following a minor collision with another vehicle in a supermarket car park. I was found not guilty at trial. I was very happy with the firm’s expertise. The barrister at trial, was excellent and I would not hesitate to recommend your services to anyone… Read More

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“This company could not of handled it better, I am absolutely blown away with the outcome, they use the best people you could ask. I would especially like to thank Vicky for helping me through each stage so professionally, and again the outcome. Very happy – would definitely recommend to anyone in the same or similar position… Read More

Anonymous 20 Drug Driving Testimonial
Drug Driving / Acquitted

“I obviously cannot thank you enough. I was told by a top criminal London lawyer when I was charged that there was no point in challenging this. You have done exactly what you said you would do and it is clear your drink driving success rates are hard earned and not just fantasy. Very many thanks to you and all your team involved!… Read More

Anonymous 15
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“Having been charged with driving under the influence of Drugs. I engaged the services of Geoffrey Miller Solicitors and as a result have since been acquitted. I would not hesitate to recommend Geoffrey Miller Solicitors to anyone who finds themselves in any similar circumstance and consider the costs encountered the best value for money I have ever received… Read More

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Drug Driving / Acquitted

“From the very first time I spoke to Geoffrey Miller Solicitors. I knew this was THE ONLY firm that was really listening and understood my problem. Without Geoffrey Miller I would not be where I am today, acquitted. If you are serious about defending your motoring offence then Geoffrey Miller are the only firm to represent you… Read More

Mr R Raj
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“I’m absolutely delighted that I chose Geoffrey Miller to represent me, they are undoubtedly the best at what they do. At one point I thought the case in court was going to go terribly wrong but my barrister used his experience and expertise to deal with a Judge who didn’t like the way you guys work!!! But hey, we won the case… Read More

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“After one phone call with Geoffrey Miller Solicitors I was immediately more confident and it felt like a weight off my shoulders. All charges against me were dropped and I was acquitted. I would highly recommend Geoffrey Miller Solicitors to anyone who has found themselves in any trouble related to a drink driving offence… Read More

Mr M
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“I was arrested for drug driving and my blood sample came back as 3.5 times over the legal limit. At trial it only took 40 minutes for my lawyer they provided to get the judges to drop the case and get me acquitted. Overall the team provided an excellent service and i would recommend to anyone in a similar situation to me… Read More

Mr J Smith Drug Driving Testimonial
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“I looked online and called a few solicitors who specialise in motoring offences. Jeanette was the most switched on and gave the best legal advice how to proceed. I felt confident instructing her. I got the best possible outcome and my plea of exceptional hardship was successful and I received a reduced fine. Really pleased… Read More

Mrs K
Totting Up / Ban Avoided

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Mr J
Drink Driving / Case Thrown Out

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Mr AO Drug Driving Testimonial
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Drink Driving / Acquitted

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“Thank you very much to the incredible team of Geoffrey Millers Solicitors. Hiring this team was absolutely worth it. Thank you so much for saving me unnecessary embarrassment with this case and for saving me the ridiculousness of this trial. It was 1000x better knowing I had you on my side. I am truly appreciative… Read More

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“We chose Geoffrey Miller Solicitors after being recommended and doing some research. After making contact for the first time by phone, I found all of your staff very professional, sympathetic and very knowledgeable about the offence and really put my mind at rest. I would definitely recommend Geoffrey Miller Solicitors… Read More

Mr Wells Drug Driving Testimonial
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“I got charged for Drug Driving in May 2016 and rang every solicitor I could possibly find who specialised in this area of law. Some were good and others were ok but after speaking to Geoffrey Millers Solicitors I knew I had found a firm that was perfect for me. The main reason I chose them was due to their record of success… Read More

Mr A Drug Driving Testimonial
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“My car was not drivable and i was charged with both drink driving and drunk in charge after a reading of 103. My job means that losing my license would not only impact me but also a number of people who rely on me to drive. I was represented by someone who seemed to genuinely care. With the correct strategy my case ended with an acquittal… Read More

James Drink Driving Testimonial 2
Drink Driving / Acquitted

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