disqualified driving

Can I defend my drink driving charges? An easy guide

Drink driving is a very severe driving offence. Leading up to Christmas, the amount of driving offences associated with drinking driving has risen. In December, alcohol consumption usually increases by 40%, which means that drink driving on the roads can also increase. In 2019, police stopped more than 100,000 drivers, from which there were over 5,500 positives, failed or refused breath tests.

Drink driving limits are put in place to limit individuals from driving whilst impaired and therefore be a danger to people in their surroundings. Drink driving can limit your ability to:

  • See correctly
  • Have good reaction times
  • It increases confidence, which can be dangerous as road users are always advised to be cautious on roads.
  • It slows reactions times.

Road users should always be cautious on the roads. The penalties for drink driving can be severe and can seriously restrict individuals from living their lives. Before the magistrates decide on the correct sentence for drink driving, they also consider any previous convictions as well as aggravating and mitigating circumstances surrounding each individual case. They also examine the level of harm that the drunk driver has caused from the crime.

Penalties for drink driving in the UK

The penalties for drink driving can vary severely depending on any previous convictions and how severe the crime was. If you are found driving over the drink limit, you will be facing disqualification unless you ask one of our solicitors for your help. If you would like to find out more about the penalties for drink driving, click here.

Law enforcement categorises drug driving penalties according to how much alcohol is found in your system. If you have previous drunk driving or failing to provide convictions within 10 years, the minimum disqualification is 3 years. Drink driving rehabilitation courses will reduce the length of the ban by 25%.

The penalties are stated below: 

Breath Blood Urine Disqualification
36-59 81-137 108-183 12-16 months
60-89 138-206 184-274 17-22 months
90-119 207-275 275-366 23-28 months
120-150 + 276-345 367-459 28-36 months

Defences for drink driving 

Under article 6 of the European Convention on Human rights, everyone is entitled to a fair trial. Drink driving cases take place in the Magistrates Court. The prosecution usually starts with the police making the arrest. The police gather evidence to establish what occurred and who was involved. They must gather a range of evidence, which includes:

  • Breath reading
  • Witness Statement
  • MGDDA document.

Once the evidence has been gathered, the police will decide whether it is enough to charge the suspect. The police must be satisfied there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. You can read more about the police procedure here. Depending on the type and the seriousness committed, the decision is made by the police or the crown court prosecution service (CPS).

In almost all cases involving an alcohol test over the limit, the police will charge the suspect. A date will be set up by a suspect for the first appearance to court. If you have been given a date to attend court, every person has the right to plead not guilty and challenge the allegations made by the police.

If you decide to plead not guilty, you can continue to drive for 2-6 months. You can also access the complete case file held by the CPS, including witness statements and the MGDDA document.

Contact us

Contact one of our solicitors now. Our online chat is open 24/7, available to help you at any time of the day. Contact us now. Solicitors On Your Side can offer you free advice and consultations.

Contact us today by phoning 0330 912 2124, emailing [email protected], or by using our website by filling out an online form.

If you would like to find out more about recent law changes and news, make sure to visit our Latest Articles page. Our latest articles also cover a range of other topics, such as motoring offences, personal injury claims, medical negligence claims, occupier’s liability and more.

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