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DRINK DRIVING SENTENCING GUIDELINES

Geoffrey Miller are specialist Drink Driving and Drug Driving Solicitors. Call our team of expert motoring solicitors for some free initial advice.

Do you want to talk to the Drink Driving Solicitors who from 1st January 2015 until 31th December 2016…

WON 100% of our Blood Drink Driving cases!

WON 100% of our Urine Drink Driving cases!

from 1st January 2016 until 31st December 2016…

WON 100% of our Fail to Provide a Specimen cases!

WON 96% of our Blood Drug Driving cases!

WON 91% of our Breath Drink Driving cases!

And achieved an overall 95% success rate in securing NOT GUILTY verdicts in our drink driving and drug driving related trials

Disqualification

If you need to know the drink driving sentencing guidelines and if this is your first drink driving related offence within the last 10 years, the mandatory minimum penalty is a 12 month ban and a fine. It is not possible to have a partial ban where you can drive for certain activities such as work. A ban means NO DRIVING!

The ban imposed may be longer depending on a number of factors such as the reading you gave and whether there are any “aggravating” features like a police chase, an accident or evidence of very poor driving.

The Magistrates will take into account guidelines issued to them when deciding what penalty to impose.

If this is a repeat offence within a 10 year period, the mandatory minimum penalty is a 3 year ban and a fine. If the repeat offence is within a fairly short period since the previous conviction(s) the Magistrates may wish to consider imposing a more serious penalty such as community service or even prison. Unlike in America, where a day in jail is commonplace, it is quite rare for a custodial penalty of any length to be imposed but you should be aware that the Magistrates do have the power to impose a prison sentence of up to 6 months for any alcohol related offence.

We appreciate that you are probably scared out of your wits by this information. It is EXTREMELY RARE for defendants of previous good character to be sentenced to a period of custody following a drink driving charge. If you are at risk of a custodial penalty, you may qualify for legal aid. However, we do not offer our services under the legal aid scheme. If you are looking for a legal aid lawyer, we suggest you contact the Community Legal Services Board for details of a firm in your area.

For more details about the possible penalties for the offences with which you have been charged, please take some time to consider the penalties and guidelines page. Or, call our team of specialist drink driving solicitors who can help you with your drink driving case.

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Court Costs if guilty plea entered at first hearing

The CPS uses a scale when calculating costs. The scale represents the average costs incurred in a wide range of cases. Obviously the more complex a case becomes, the higher the costs and for each additional defendant in a case the total level of costs is increased by 20%.

In a Magistrates’ Court if a guilty plea is entered at the first hearing the likely costs will be one of the following;

Summary Guilty Plea

  • Lower – £105
  • Average – £135
  • Higher – £160

Court Costs if convicted after trial

Summary Trial

  • Lower – £620
  • Average – £775
  • Higher – £930

For more guidance on the likely level of costs that will be sought, please refer to the Crown Prosecution Service website.

Victim’s surcharge

The victim’s surcharge is an additional fixed levy dependent on the sentence imposed and up to a maximum of £120 applied by the Court, not the CPS, when sentencing a Defendant. The money generated by this charge is spilt between;

  1. The Home Office;
  2. The CPS – to put into their “No Victims No Justice” project;
  3. Various organisations that deal with witness care.

The term witness is used but it essentially means the money goes to victims of crime. There do not have to be victims directly affected by the specific crime the Defendant was convicted for.

AdultVictim Surcharge
A conditional discharge£15
A fine10% 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 sentence6 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

Fine

In addition to receiving a driving ban, you will be fined and ordered to pay court costs. The amount of the fine will depend on a few factors concerning the nature of the offence and your own income. The fine used to be capped to a maximum of £5000 but this cap was removed in 2015 so the fine is now unlimited and is calculated by reference to the offender’s income. Typically, the fine will be 1.5 x the offender’s net weekly earnings.

It may be possible to arrange to pay the fine by way of instalments depending on your income.

Community order

Community orders can be imposed with the following requirement(s):

  • Unpaid work requirement;
  • Activity requirement;
  • Programme requirement;
  • Prohibited activity requirement;
  • Curfew requirement;
  • Exclusion requirement;
  • Residence requirement;
  • Mental health treatment requirement;
  • Drug rehabilitation requirement;
  • Alcohol treatment requirement;
  • Supervision requirement;
  • Attendance centre requirement;

Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course

You are likely to be offered the opportunity to completing the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course which, if completed successfully by a specified date that will result in a reduction of up to 25% from your period of disqualification. This course will last at least 16 hours, spread over a number of days. You will have to pay the cost of the course (typically £3-500). You are not forced to attend the course but if you do not attend and complete it, to the satisfaction of the course organisers, you will have to serve the whole period of your disqualification.

Getting your licence back

When you are eligible to drive again you will have to reapply for a new licence yourself, directly to the DVLA. The DVLA should send you an application to renew your driving licence 56 days before your disqualification ends. You will not be able to drive until you have reapplied for your licence. If you drive before this point, even though the period of the driving disqualification is over, you are technically driving otherwise than in accordance with a valid licence and may be charged with an offence.

Repeat offenders or High Risk offenders

If you are disqualified with an alcohol level of over: 200mg per 100ml of blood; OR 87.5µg per 100ml of breath; OR 267.5mg per 100ml of urine or you are disqualified twice in 10 years for certain alcohol related offences you will be classed as a ‘high risk offender’. The DVLA requires ‘high risk offenders’ to undergo medical enquiries before your driving licence can be renewed.

Following disqualification, the DVLA should contact you to explain that, upon reapplying for your licence at the end of the disqualification, the question of whether the conviction indicates a medical disability and, if so, whether you have brought the drinking problem under control, will be assessed. They should send you the necessary application form 90 days before your disqualification ends. The DVLA will advise you to seek help and advice during the period of disqualification. You must satisfy the Medical Advisory Branch at the Department for Transport that you do not have an alcohol problem before a licence is issued.

The assessment will involve: filling in a medical questionnaire about your medical history and how much alcohol you drink, a physical examination, a urine test and blood tests. This currently costs about £100.00.

Application for early return of your licence (2 year ban or more only)

If disqualified for more than 2 years, there are circumstances when you may make an application to the court to remove the disqualification that was imposed earlier than the date ordered by the court. This is only possible if no retest has been ordered. The application must be made to the court that imposed the original ban and they will consider the following criteria:

  • The offender’s character and post-conviction conduct;
  • The nature of the offence for which he was convicted; and
  • Any other circumstances of the case.

An application may only be if:

  • Two years have passed since disqualification of four years or less was ordered; or
  • One half of the period of disqualification has passed, if four years to ten years disqualification was ordered; or
  • Five years have passed if a disqualification for ten years or more was ordered.

If your application is refused, it is possible to renew the application after a period of three months from the date of refusal.

VIEW ALL OUR DRINK DRIVING TESTIMONIALS

Figures include successful appeals and exclude cases lost that are the subject of appeal as at 23 December 2016.

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WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT US

“I blew 93 at the police station for Drink Driving. After requesting a call back with Geoffrey Miller Solicitors, within 5 minutes Jeanette Miller (The Managing Director herself) called me back and took over 40 minutes of her time on a Sunday evening explaining my options. They secured my acquittal. I honestly cannot thank the team enough! ”Read More

Anonymous 37 Drink Driving Testimonial
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“I believed my case was a ‘no hoper’, until I carried out some online research and came across the Geoffrey Miller Solicitors web site and read some of their case results and outcomes. They are professional, thorough, emphatic, supportive and I would recommend them to any unfortunate who winds up with an offence the way I did… ”Read More

Sydney King Failing to Provide a Specimen Testimonial
Failing to Provide a Specimen / Acquitted

“To anybody out there who is in trouble for a driving offence I would urge in the strongest terms possible to instruct this firm. They were quite simply incredible. They never gave up, fought the case brilliantly and secured my acquittal in a masterful way. Just incredible. Don’t go anywhere else – this is the one and only firm. Absolutely brilliant!!… Read More

Anonymous 31 Drink Driving Testimonial
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“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

“Wow what a result! Without a doubt I can honestly say Geoffrey Miller Solicitors is worth every penny and more. Their professional team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep me up-to-date every step of the way. I really cannot recommend Geoffrey Miller’s highly enough! They’re completely different to any other Solicitors. Read More

Mr James Drink Driving Testimonial
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“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

Kobey Drink Driving Testimonial
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“After a sleepless night, I searched the internet for help and contacted three law firms. Geoffrey Miller was the fastest to get back to me, the most reassuring and professional by far. Having met with solicitor Tara Boyle, I knew they would do the best for me. I was acquitted. I cannot recommend them enough… Read More

Anonymous 18 Drink Driving Testimonial
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“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

Mr Mead Drink Driving Testimonial
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“I was arrested for drink driving and blew over the legal limit at the roadside. After speaking with Geoffrey Miller Solicitors, I knew that this was the company I wanted to fight my corner. I cannot thank them enough for their expertise, time and care in helping me through a terrible time. I would recommend them without any hesitation… Read More

Mr Lee Drink Driving Testimonial
Drink Driving / Case Dropped

“Geoffrey Miller Solicitors were brilliant handling my drink driving case. Geoffrey Miller Solicitors calmed me straight away, were professional in their service. They were fully informative at all times and in the court room got the best possible result they could have with a ban reduced. An excellent service all round!… Read More

Anonymous 16
Drink Driving / Ban Reduced

“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

“Facing a tough drink driving case, GM were able to structure, manage and execute a winning argument and gain a result at the end. The service from start to finish, was second-to-none. I would recommend anyone to use Geoffrey Miller if they need a law firm who really does care about each case and most importantly gets results… Read More

Mr Whitehouse
Drink Driving / Acquitted

“After being wrongly charged with drink driving I knew I needed help. From start to finish Geoffrey Miller Solicitors explained why the charges would not stand up to their scrutiny. The whole sorry saga played out exactly as outlined in my first conversation with Jeanette Miller. These guys really know what they are doing!… Read More

Mr J
Drink Driving / Case Thrown Out

“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

“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

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DRINK DRIVING BAN CALCULATOR

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