Case Study: Minimum Driving Disqualification Obtained

At Preston Magistrates Court

To keep our client’s identity confidential, they will be referred to as ‘Katie’ for this case study.

Katie contacted us after being charged with drink driving after spending the night in custody. Katie explained to us she hadn’t gone out with the intention to consume alcohol, but after meeting up with a friend, she decided to have a couple of alcoholic beverages.

After making plans to stay out longer, Katie decided to move her car to a safe location for the night and was unfortunately pulled over by police and breathalysed. Katie didn’t realise she would be over the limit, but unfortunately failed the breathalyser at the roadside and was subsequently taken to the police station. 

At the station Katie tested positive for 87ug of alcohol. We explained to Katie that the legal limit is 35ug, so she had unfortunately exceeded this substantially. By testing positive for 87ug, Katie falls into the second band of the Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines. This band states that anyone who tests positive for 60-89ug will face a 17-22 month driving disqualification and a potential low level community order. As this was Katies first offence and there were no aggravating factors this wouldn’t be increased any further. 

Katie informed us she wished to plead guilty but was worried by the prospects of having to do community service and have such a long disqualification. We explained to Katie we could present mitigation to help reduce her sentence – you can find more information on the benefits of presenting mitigation on our articles page. After an in-depth discussion with Katie, we established she needed her vehicle to travel to mobile clients (in relation to her employment) and if she was unable to this, it would cause her income to decrease greatly. Katie worked alongside a business partner and they both split the bills for the business equally. If Katie was to be disqualified for a long period of time, she would also put her business partner into a state of financial hardship. Therefore, we advised her to obtain a supporting statement from her business partner outlining this so we could demonstrate her perspective to the court.  As Katie didn’t have any dependants, such as children or family she cared for, we also suggested obtaining character references would be beneficial. 

After obtaining multiple character references, which noted how out of character committing the offence was and how much remorse Katie felt for committing it – we formed a strong case of mitigation. At Katies hearing we presented her mitigation alongside her business partners statement and character references to the court. We emphasised to the judges the remorse Katie had felt following the incident and the short distance driven by her. The Magistrates Judges took all of this into consideration, and we were able to successfully reduce Katies driving disqualification from 22 months to 12 months, with no community service. We also obtained a driving course for Katie which removed 25% of her driving disqualification. 

Katie was very happy with the outcome and left the below feedback:

I recently needed help and was appointed Laura Farrell.I was very anxious and needed help and advice and from the get go Laura went above and beyond. Any question I had she answered regardless of what it was. She always had the answer and made me feel very at ease. Nothing was too much for her and her commitment to her job is second to none. The way she handled the situation was very careful and she protected how I felt at all costs which was so respectful and understanding, in this day and age is extremely important. This is to say Thank-you for what was a bad situation which you made feel a lot easier. Would totally recommend Laura and the company. Laura is a credit to the company and to herself.’ 

Katie’s case is a good example of how you can still present mitigation successfully with no dependants.  We are happy we were able to help Katie in this instance.

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