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Drink Driving Solicitors who specialise in defending drink driving offences. Call our team of expert solicitors for free initial advice on Freephone 08000 85 27 84. For more details of our drink driving offence successes please check out our annual motoring offence trials results.
This may be the first time you have been faced with any kind of prosecution and we understand how you probably feel right now. Please get in touch with our team of expert drink driving solicitors for a free consultation. Geoffrey Miller Drink Driving Solicitors are the UK’s most well respected expert drink driving lawyers. With particular expertise in drink driving cases involving blood and urine samples. Or any of the three breathalysers in use across the country’s police stations (Intoximeter EC/IR; Lion Intoxilyser 6000 UK or Camic Datamaster-check, the printout the police should have offered to you for details of which drink driving device you were breathalysed on.)
Even if you think you are guilty of the drink driving offence, it is very likely there will be a valid and lawful defence to the charge. If you have mistakenly assumed that your only option is to plead guilty and accept the mandatory driving ban that applies, please get in touch so that our drink driving solicitors can guide you through your options free of charge.
Our drink driving solicitors will listen, advise and, in some cases, console you but we will also give you our honest, no nonsense, straight talking advice. Below are some more details of the options we can offer you. There’s a lot to read on this page. So if you would rather just pick up the phone and talk things through, then please get in touch on Freephone 08000 85 27 84 and speak to our Drink Driving Solicitors today.
You can discuss your options free of charge with one of the expert motoring lawyers from the Geoffrey Miller team, based in offices in London and Manchester. We deal with cases all over the UK, so whether you are due to appear in Southampton or Newcastle, we have a specialised team of motoring offence drink driving solicitors ready to deal with your case. Our phones are manned throughout the day and night by real lawyers (not in a call centre) all of whom are experts in the field of motoring law with specific emphasis on drink driving cases. You may be put through directly to Managing Director, Jeanette Miller aka “Miss Justice” or a member of her highly skilled team.
Call now and speak to one of our specialist Drink Driving Solicitors for a free consultation about your drink driving offence on Freephone 08000 85 27 84.
Definition of a Drink Driving Offence in the UK: It is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road, or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in a person’s breath exceeds the prescribed limit under. S 5. Road Traffic Act 1988.
If you have been charged with driving with excess alcohol, the Prosecution will have to prove that you were driving with excess alcohol in your breath, urine or blood. The present drink drive limits in the UK are as follows:
When a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person is driving with excess alcohol he can require that person to perform a roadside breath test. If this provides a positive reading the driver will be arrested and taken to a police station where a further “evidential test” is required.
Ordinarily if the evidential sample is a breath test, the police constable must follow stringent procedures and have obtained two specimens of breath which have been analysed and which exceed 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. If you blow 39 or less, it is likely that the police will exercise their discretion and release you without charge. However, if both readings exceed 40 micrograms of alcohol. It is likely that the police will simply proceed to charge the driver with the drink driving offence and the driver will be bailed to attend Court at a later date. As from April 2015 the procedure for a secondary blood or urine test to take place, in the case of a borderline reading was abolished. That said, the procedures the police must follow continue to be intricate and this is where our expertise could make the difference in saving your licence.
If you are facing a charge for drink driving but were taken to hospital and this is where you gave your sample, please take a look at our drink driving hospital cases page and contact our expert Drink Driving Solicitors today.
Our specialist drink driving solicitors have taken the time to answer your most important questions, about everything you need to know about your drink driving case.
Yes, any offence that you are convicted of in a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court is classed as a criminal conviction. This includes minor speeding offences and more serious drink driving offences.
A drink driving conviction will appear on your driving record held by DVLA for a period of 11 years from the date of the conviction. This is partly because of the laws on spent convictions, but also because of the rules about repeat offenders. If you are convicted of another relevant offence (drink driving, drug driving or failing to provide a specimen), within 10 years of the previous conviction. You face much tougher penalties starting with a minimum disqualification of 3 years.
Rules on spent convictions are contained in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. When a conviction is “spent” it means that you would not have to declare it in answer to the question, “Do you have any criminal convictions?” Not all convictions are spent after the same period of time. A conviction becomes spent at the end of the longest of:
|When A Drink Driving Conviction Becomes Spent|
|Eleven years for disqualification for drink driving/drug driving/failing to provide a sample|
|Four years from the date of the offence when penalty points are imposed|
|Four years from the date of conviction when a driving disqualification (other than for drink/drug related offences) is imposed|
|One year after the date of conviction when a fine was imposed|
|One year after the end of a community order|
|Two years after the end of a custodial sentence of 6 months or less (including licence period)|
|Four years after the end of a custodial sentence of over six months to 30 months (including licence period)|
|Seven years after the end of a custodial sentence of over 30 months to 48 months|
|NEVER for a custodial sentence of more than 48 months|
If two or more criteria could apply to your situation. The longest period would apply e.g., drink driving disqualification (eleven years) and a fine (one year). Your conviction would be spent after eleven years because this is the longest period.
Fixed penalty notices are treated in the same way as convictions imposed through the courts.
Up until 2015, the fine for drink driving was capped to a maximum of £5000. However, the cap was abolished to enable the courts to hit the wealthier motorists where it hurts! Fines are calculated by reference to an offender’s net income. For drink driving, if a fine is to be imposed, it is usually 1.5 times a motorist’s net weekly income. If you earn £1 million net income per year your fine could arguably be £28,846.15!
The police can require you to provide a roadside breath test at the roadside, if they form the opinion that you have committed a road traffic offence and if they form a reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of alcohol. They do not have to have formed a reasonable suspicion of intoxication. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and it is routine to require a roadside test even if you appear to be stone cold sober.
If you fail, or are unable to do a roadside breath or saliva test, the police will usually arrest you and take you to a local police station or hospital if you have been injured, to carry out the procedures for obtaining an evidential alcohol test. This is usually a breath alcohol calculation (BAC) if taken to the police station and blood or urine is usually collected if taken to hospital. The police can also require blood or urine at a police station, but this is less common and you have no right to insist on a blood or urine test in place of a breath test.
The police will require two breath tests from you, on an evidential breath testing instrument (EBTI). But it is the lower of the two readings that is treated as the evidential reading that is used against you in the prosecution through the courts.
If there is a large discrepancy between the two readings (usually more than 15% difference), then the police are likely to require an alternative sample of blood or urine to replace the breath test which will be considered inaccurate.
Also, the police could insist on a blood or urine test if you suffer with respiratory or other illness that would make it impossible for you to provide a sample or if the EBTI is malfunctioning in some way.
If you provide a breath test of 40µg or above, you will face charge for drink driving. Whilst the legal limit is set at 35µg, the police have a discretion to let you walk free without charge if you blow 39µg.
After you have blown 40µg or above you will be bailed to attend court, most likely 1 week to 10 days from the charge date when you will have to attend and enter your plea.
The police do not normally interview a suspect arrested for drink driving unless there is a concern on their part that they have insufficient evidence, for example, they did not see you drive. They may want to interview you if you have claimed to have drunk alcohol AFTER driving as this could form the basis of a common factual “hip-flask” defence and they will want to calculate your alcohol levels based on what you tell them you had to drink and when (a back calculation). If the numbers do not add up, or even if they do, the police are still likely to charge you and it will be for you to persuade a court of the truthfulness of your account of alcohol consumption.
If a blood or urine test is required, further complex police procedures must be followed and you will not face charge until the sample you provide has been analysed as over the limit. Usually, the analysis will take between 4 to 6 weeks. You will be bailed to attend the police station for charge when the result of the sample analysis has been communicated to the police as being over the drink drive limit. If the sample comes back under the limit, you will face no charge for drink driving.
You can continue to drive unless a bail condition is imposed to prohibit you from driving prior to your court date. It is extremely rare for such a bail condition to be imposed unless there are medical concerns such as a suspicion of a blackout at the wheel. This means that you should be able to continue to drive as normal until pleading guilty or being found guilty following a trial.
We strongly recommend getting in touch with us before your first court date so that we can explain your options as even if you think the drink driving charge you face is “open and shut,” it is highly likely that we will be able to challenge the prosecution.
The safest answer to this is you shouldn’t drink anything before driving. However, if you want to know how much would be legal, you would have to consider a number of factors such as what drink you were consuming and when you were drinking. There are also other factors to consider that relate to your metabolism and the rate of elimination of alcohol from your system. Deciding on how much to drink before driving, based on units is dangerous as it does not take into account how much you ate which can massively affect elimination rates. It is also risky to assume a safe amount of alcohol without also considering your height, weight, sex. An 8 stone, 5 foot female could be over the limit after drinking a small glass of wine, especially if she had not eaten anything all day.
Yes, you receive a criminal record for any conviction, even a minor motoring conviction would be classed as a criminal record. However, most organisations that ask you to disclose details of criminal convictions such as prospective employers tend to exclude minor motoring matters that carry penalty points.
The minimum penalty for drink driving is a 12 month disqualification and a fine the equivalent to 1.5 weeks’ net earnings. You would also have to pay court costs (£100-520 depending on at what stage you are convicted) and a victim surcharge. The maximum penalty is a prison sentence of 6 months but we have NEVER had a client sent to prison for drink driving alone.
Clients who contact us often don’t appreciate the fact that your alcohol levels will be dependent on many factors. The alcohol content of your drinks is only one of these. Your height, weight and waist measurements along with the times of your drinks and what you had to eat are also crucial factors. If your reading was borderline with the drink driving limit it is likely that you will have been offered a second test of either blood or urine. If you are waiting for test results or have been charged with drink driving following a blood or urine test, we strongly recommend you take a look at our page dealing with borderline and hospital cases and get in touch with our Drink Driving Solicitors immediately for what could be life changing free advice from our team of expert drink driving solicitors.
The penalties for drink driving offences can be far reaching. Please take a look at our drink driving penalty calculator for more specific details of the penalty you could be facing for a drink driving conviction. The penalty will be based on the level of your breath, blood or urine reading along with other factors and in particular whether you have a previous conviction for an excess alcohol offence within the last 10 years.
Whilst many people understand that the minimum penalty for drink driving is a 12 month ban (or 3 years ban for a repeat drink driving offender) many drivers do not realise how a drink driving conviction can also mean:
If you have already decided that you wish to plead guilty then our Drink Driving Solicitors offer a cost effective fixed fee “damage limitation” service for pleading guilty to drink driving cases. Even though we cannot avoid the mandatory 12 months driving ban for those who plead guilty. We are likely to persuade the court to exercise leniency with the penalty they impose. We often secure driving bans of less than the guidelines suggest by presented thoroughly prepared mitigation arguments.
Pleading guilty is not your only option though so please keep reading. Or better still, get in touch on Freephone 08000 85 27 84 to discuss your options free of charge with an expert drink driving solicitor at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors. Our phones are manned 24 hours by real lawyers (not in a call centre) all of whom are experts in drink driving offence cases.
If you know that you wish to challenge the prosecution, it is essential that you contact the team at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors at the earliest opportunity. Preferably well in advance of your first court hearing. Much of the crucial police evidence in your drink driving case could be destroyed fairly soon after your original arrest if a specific request for it to be preserved is not made immediately.
We will want to set to work straight away on preparing your defence for drink driving. This may involve contacting witnesses, viewing CCTV, requesting inspection facilities of the machine that you gave your reading on (many of which are horrifically unreliable) instructing drink driving toxicologist experts; forensic medical examiners… the list goes on. We won’t know exactly what work (and cost) is going to be involved in your case until you make contact with us so please call us now on Freephone 08000 85 27 84. Our team of specialist drink driving solicitors will be glad to discuss your options free of charge. Our phones are manned 24 hours a day by real lawyers (not in a call centre) all of whom are experts in defending drink driving offences.
If you defend a drink driving prosecution you will be allowed to continue to drive and your driving licence would only be affected by a ban if you are convicted. Our statistics show that the chances of you avoiding a ban are extremely high as we win the majority of the drink driving cases we defend.
If you have spoken to other drink driving solicitors before us, you may have been advised that there is nothing that can be done to help you with your drink driving offence. This advice is often given because the solicitor who dispensed the advice is not a true expert in drink driving law and in their limited knowledge of drink driving cases, there is nothing that can be done. If your GP told you that you had a brain tumour and there was nothing to be done to help you would you leave to at that? Of course not! You would most likely ask for a second opinion from a brain surgeon. Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are the brain surgeons of drink driving law! In addition to Miss Justice herself, our team consists of several experienced motoring solicitors. All of whom undergo intensive ongoing training and development so that we are able to develop new strategies and defences for all of our clients.
There are also other firms out there who have sought to copy our model. In fact, some of the pages of their websites have been created from Geoffrey Miller’s own literature and previous website content. Whilst we acknowledge that when a competitor copies us in this way, it is the best form of flattery, BEWARE! Those who lack originalty in their marketing, and website design will undoubtedly lack the strategic flair and legal knowledge our Drink Driving Solicitors team applies to case preparation. Make sure you appoint the right motoring offence lawyer as this could be the difference between a driving ban or a NOT GUILTY verdict.
Call us now on Freephone 08000 85 27 84 to see how our Drink Driving Solicitors can save you from the extreme hardship a drink driving conviction can cause.
Up to £5,000 fine, up to 6 months imprisonment and a minimum period of a year of mandatory disqualification. If you have a previous conviction for a alcohol related offence within the last 10 years there is a minimum of 3 years disqualification.
You may be innocent of the drink driving charge you face or the prosecution for drink driving may be the wake up call you need to force you to seek help from professionals in the field of addiction recovery. We are supporters of the charity Addiction Today who have an extensive directory of treatment and rehab providers on their site.
We also work with a number of rehab providers abroad including the Malvern Institute.
We are not experts in foreign motoring law but can point you in the right direction of a suitable expert abroad if you require advice on the drink driving and other motoring law procedures in Europe.
In July 2012, the French introduced a new requirement to carry hand held breathalyser kits on board at any time when you drive in France. Check out Managing Director, Jeanette Miller, discussing this issue on BBC Breakfast.
Most people who get in touch with our drink driving solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the drink driving charge. You may find the possibility of having to plead guilty inconceivable, because you simply don’t know how you will manage without your driving licence. You may find it equally difficult to grasp how it could be possible to defend the drink driving case.
In the majority of cases we are unable to tell you if you have a case worth defending until we can look into the specifics of your case in more depth. We offer a priority investigative option to all clients facing drink driving related offences, which means that if you are unsure if you have a defence or if you have been told by another solicitor that you have no defence but we think otherwise. Our team of drink driving solicitors will consider the evidence in your case and take a full statement from you. They will then provide you with their expert opinion and the merits in defending your drink driving case or pleading guilty. As we can conduct this option for a relatively low cost fixed fee it means that you are not committed to spending significant fees, in order to establish if there is any way of defending the offence. We think we are the best drink driving solicitors in the UK. Take a look at our case study and testimonial of Mr. Malcomson, a client who transferred to Geoffrey Miller Solicitors after becoming unhappy with his supposed expert drink driving solicitors. See what a difference our expert drink driving offence solicitors can make to the outcome of a case.
If you would prefer to call us rather than trawl through the pages on our website, we are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. 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 consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert legal advice, which could have led to them accepting a drink driving ban unnecessarily.
Take a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our drink driving penalty calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face. 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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Managing Director: Jeanette S. Miller Director: Tara Boyle. View our Privacy and Cookies policy, Accessability Policy. Our Sister Company: Personal Injury Solicitors.