Drink Driving Solicitors
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Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialist Drink Driving Penalties Solicitors. Call our team of expert drink driving solicitors for some free drink driving advice.

We are drink driving penalties solicitors who defend clients throughout England and Wales. If you are facing a drink driving charge and want to know what drink driving penalties you could be facing, please contact or dedicated specialist team of drink driving solicitors for some free advice.

Our Drink Driving Solicitors results from 1st January 2015 until 21st December 2017

Urine Drink Driving Cases – WON 100%!

Blood Drink Driving Cases – WON 99%!

Breath Drink Driving Cases – WON 80%!

Failing to Provide a Specimen Cases – WON 89%!

Drug Driving Cases – WON 93%!

AND WON 86% of our Alcohol and Drug related cases overall!

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drink driving penalties

Drink Driving Penalty

The best place to check what penalty you could face for a drink driving penalty is in the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines. It sets out the likely penalty based on the alcohol reading alleged against you. Also, any aggravating or mitigating factors.

If you need more help working out what possible penalty you face, then try out our drink driving penalty calculator. Or contact our team of drink driving solicitors who can help you with your drink driving case.

A criminal conviction is a drink driving offence. It carries with it a number of possible penalties we have explained below:

Try Our Drink Driving Penalty Calculator

Drink Driving Disqualification

We need to be blunt when it comes to advising clients about drink driving penalties. There is no easy way of breaking this news to you… if convicted of drink driving, the minimum penalty you could receive is a 12 months disqualification. Most importantly, this is mandatory. So even with our involvement, if you plead guilty or found guilty, there will be no getting away* from that dreaded ban. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what your personal or professional circumstances are. Because, nothing you say in mitigation to the court can get the minimum penalty below that 1 year ban.

Drink Driving Penalties Second Offence

If this is a second offence within a 10 year period, the minimum penalty is a 3 year disqualification. Therefore, depending on how recent your previous drink driving conviction was, the ban may be the least of your problems. Because, the court most likely will want to impose a more serious penalty such as a community order or even prison. This is in addition to the ban when you face a repeat offence that follows the previous conviction within 3 years or less.

After entering a plea of guilty at court (you can’t enter a plea at the police station) or if convicted after a trial. When the court adjourns the case for other penalties considered, the disqualification is immediate.

*Special Reasons can be presented to the court to avoid disqualification. These are not related to an offender’s circumstances or mitigation in any way but are specific issues such as spiked drinks, driving a very short distance or driving in an emergency.

Drink Driving Interim Disqualifications

It is extremely rare for the court to impose an interim disqualification pending conviction. Therefore, the premise “Innocent until proven guilty” applies and unless there are concerns over a driver’s health eg. Suggestion of blackouts, then the court is extremely unlikely to impose any form of penalty before a trial takes place.

Drink Driving Fine

There is no maximum fine for a drink driving offence. However, the fine imposed for drink driving is usually linked to an offender’s income and is calculated as one and a half week’s net earnings. If you complete a form MC100 disclosing your income and outgoings for calculation.

Complete the statement of means form with accurate information as it is an offence punishable by a fine to provide false details. Most importantly, if you do not disclose your financial information, the court will most likely impose the maximum fine.

The court will sometimes allow an offender time to pay a fine depending on your financial circumstances. If you have already received a fine and are looking for information on how to arrange payment, you can complete this online:

Make A Court Fine Payment

Drink Driving Community Orders

If the drink driving prosecution you face involves a high reading, a repeat offence or a number of aggravating features, it is likely that the court will want to consider imposing a community order instead of a fine. You will not receive both a community order and a fine. It is one or the other. Community orders in drink driving penalties cases tend to take the form of unpaid work (Anything from 100 to 300 hours) or a curfew controlled by an electronic or doorstep tag. However, the Probation Service can recommend alternative options depending on the circumstances.

Where the court is considering a community order it is likely that a probation officer will meet with you before the sentence is imposed to establish what kind of drink driving penalty would be suitable. The report prepared by the probation officer will be one of the key considerations when it comes to imposing sentence.

Can You Get Sent To Prison For Drink Driving?

If the possibility of a prison sentence is concerning you, we understand that you will want to feel completely sure of the solicitors you engage to represent you.

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors have maintained a 100% track record of keeping all of our drink driving clients out of prison, even in the case of repeat offenders or offenders whose alcohol readings are “off the scale.”**

Despite our track record, prison is a very real possibility in drink driving penalties cases. It only takes a quick search online to read of cases involving drink driving penalties allegations when the offender was sent to prison. The maximum prison term the court can impose is 6 months.

Our expert legal team will meticulously prepare for your case

We want you to walk into court knowing that everything that we have done to preserve your liberty has been meticulously prepared by our expert legal team. Therefore, from the moment you place your instructions with us, we will set to work on getting as much information about you and your circumstances as possible. From there, we gather corroborative evidence so we can prove what we present in court.

If you want the country’s top motoring law solicitors save you from any of the penalties described on this page, get in touch for a “no strings” chat about how we can assist you.

Drink Driving Penalties Court Costs

In addition to the penalties above, if convicted of a drink driving offence you are also likely to paythe Prosecution’s costs. Typically, these will range depending on whether you plead guilty at the earliest opportunity or if you defend the case and convicted after a trial.

Drink Driving can only be heard in the Magistrates’ Court which means it is a summary only offence. Below is a guide to possible scales of court costs for summary only offences depending on the complexity of the case:

Magistrates’ Court
Proof in Absence£85 (set amount)
Early Guilty Plea (EFH)Not Applicable£85£100
Summary Guilty Plea£105£135£160
Summary Trial£620£775£930

Victim Surcharge

The Victim Surcharge is an ancillary order imposed by a court that was introduced fairly recently in 2007. Therefore, it is now a mandatory aspect of the penalty that must be imposed following a drink driving conviction. It is payable when an individual is sentenced to a conditional discharge, a fine, a community or a custodial sentence in relation to an offence committed on or after that date.

Revenue raised from the Victim Surcharge is used to fund victim services through the Victim and Witness General Fund – full list of the groups supported.

Below is a scale of the likely amounts of the victim discharge that could be imposed following a drink driving conviction. The maximum amount to be imposed will always be £120.

Offenders 18 years or over at the time the offence was committedVictim Surcharge
A conditional discharge£15
A fineAt 10% of the fine value with a £20 minimum and a £120 maximum (surcharge should be rounded up or down to the nearest pound)
A community sentence£60
An immediate custodial sentence*6 months and below – £80
Over 6 months and up to and including 2 years – £100
Over 2 years – £120 (only in Crown Court)
A suspended sentence6 months and below – £80
Over 6 months and up to and including 1 year – £100

Is There Nothing I Can Do To Save My Driving Licence?

Penalties are only imposed if you plead guilty or are found guilty of drink driving. Therefore, pleading guilty to the drink driving charge you face is not the only option available. Even if you think there is nothing that can be done to defend the charge, until you speak to one of our drink driving solicitors, we urge you to keep your mind open on the next steps.

†Figures include successful appeals and exclude cases lost that are the subject of appeal as at 20th December 2018.

**This excludes cases involving other offences such as dangerous driving and disqualified driving and multiple repeat offences when committed whilst on bail.

Not Sure What to Do About Your Drink Driving Offence?

Most people who get in touch with our team of drink driving penalty solicitors are uncertain of their options. Because, 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 penalty charge they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! Most importantly, 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.

Try our free drink driving penalty consultation service

We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 1389 123 to speak to one of our specialist drink driving penalty solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange instalment plans to assist you. Most importantly, 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.

Browse our website and get in touch

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 drink driving guidance features. Such as our drink driving ban calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted.

We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it. Take a look at our unique “ask our clients” testimonials scheme, which 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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Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialists defending drivers nationwide for all types of driving offences. Call our team of expert driving offence solicitors for some free initial advice.


Still not sure if you should instruct us to help you?

Try our Interactive Testimonial Scheme - “Ref Me” is a voluntary scheme we ask satisfied clients to participate in. Where you see the “Ask Our Clients” form, you can send an email to a previous client of the firm and ask them any question(s) you like about us.

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The Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines is a tool used by the Magistrates to decide on penalty. Try our drink driving ban calculator or our speeding ban calculator to give you a rough idea of the penalty you could incur…

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We have developed a number of pricing structures to suit clients on most income levels. To some clients minimising the level of their legal costs is as important as achieving your objective with an acquittal or damage limitation on penalty…

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