April 29, 2014

Drink Driving Solicitors South London

Drink Driving Solicitors South London

1. Driving with excess alcohol.

This is when you have been driving or attempting to drive after consuming an amount of alcohol over the approved amount. In other words, you are driving whilst over the drink drive limit.

You cannot be convicted of this unless it has been proven that you are over the limit after taking a breath, urine or blood test from the police station.

The readings must be taken from a Government approved device such as a breathalyser. A roadside testing device is not an approved device.

Road testing devices are simply used to help police officers decide whether or not you are drink driving and should be taken to the police station to do an official test.

Drink Drive Limits

Breath .. maximum of 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

(if you have a reading between 40-50 micrograms-statutory option blood/urine test)

Blood…maximum of 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

Urine…maximum of 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of urine.

Drink Drive Defences

The Courts view this as a serious offence and in some cases punishment can include imprisonment.  Defences can be considered where the police have not followed the correct procedures or when you can show you were not the driver at the time.  If you have drunk alcohol since you finished driving then this can be measured and subtracted from the alcohol you had in your body at the time you were driving.This is known as  ”back calculation”.

Although not a full defence, it could be that your drinks had been “spiked” and you were unaware of this at the time of drinking.  It will be necessary to obtain supporting evidence and in many cases, we will require to instruct a medical or forensic expert.  This could amount to special reasons for the Magistrates Court not to disqualify you from driving.

The law only prohibits you from committing this offence if you are driving on a road or public place.  Whilst it may seem obvious, the actual legal definition of what a road or public place is can be complex and relies on the particular time the offence was committed, the location and use by others.

What are the punishments?

You could face a maximum six months imprisonment, a £5,000 fine and a driving ban.

2. Failure to provide a specimen.

This is when you refuse to provide a specimen of blood, breath or urine to the police.

What are the punishments?

Refusing a test at the police station could get you 6 months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine as well as a lengthy driving ban. Evidence of high levels of intoxication and lack of co-operation at the police station can now greatly increase your sentence.

Moreover, if the courts believe you failed to provide a specimen because you knew you were trying to drive with excess alcohol in your body, your punishment could be more severe. The punishment for failing to provide a specimen, as you can see, can be far worse than that for drink driving because the Courts do not know how intoxicated you are.

3. Being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

This is when you are in or around your vehicle whilst over the limit, with the intention of taking the vehicle for a drive. This may sound like an easy offence to commit but you should only be prosecuted if you were intending to drive the vehicle.

You can raise the STATUTORY DEFENCE.  This is where the Defence establish, on the balance of probabilities, you would not have driven.  This defence works successfully when the reading is not too high and there is evidence of alternative means of travelling, ie taxi called or friend on way to pick you up

What are the punishments?

You could be facing 10 penalty points on your licence or a driving ban, three months imprisonment and a £2,500 fine.

4. Driving while unfit through drink or drugs

This is relatively the same as being caught in charge of your car with excess alcohol in your body. The difference between the two is that, to be charged with the excess alcohol offence, a specimen declaring you over the drink drive limit is required. If they do not have a specimen, for whatever reason, they can simply charge you with driving while unfit under the influence of drink or drugs and the prosecution would centre around a doctor’s or police officer’s opinion of your suitability to drive.

What are the punishments?

You could face a driving disqualification, six months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.

Drink drivers rehabilitation course

Following a guilty plea or conviction the Court has the discretion to offer the drink driving rehabilitation course. If the court feels that you are someone suitable to attend upon the course a reduction in disqualification can be offered of up to 25%.

As you can see there are many different levels of punishment for alcohol related motoring offences, as well as many different types of alcohol or drug offences that you can be prosecuted for.

If you have been or are to be charged with any of the driving offences here contact us today.

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