With the help of one of our team of experts, there are a number of defences and other factors which may apply to save your licence or limit the sentence when faced with a charge of driving, or attempting to drive, whilst exceeding the legal alcohol level, or being in charge of the vehicle whilst exceeding the limit.
For example, errors in the procedure, or failures in police or forensic procedures in relation to breath, blood and urine samples may provide you with a defence. A defence may also be available if the level of alcohol is due to consumption post driving.
What are the legal alcohol limits in England and Wales?
- For a breath reading the legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
- For a blood reading the legal limit is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
- For a urine reading the legal limit is 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.
What is the punishment for a drink driving offence?
If a guilty plea is entered at Court or a guilty verdict is found at the conclusion of a trial hearing then the court have no alternative but to disqualify the offender from driving for a minimum period of 12 months unless a special reason can be shown to exist. A 25% reduction in any driving ban can apply should the Court allow the offender to participate in a drink drive rehabilitation course. The minimum period an offender can be banned from driving should it be a second mandatory disqualification conviction within a ten year period is 3 years.
Can the police arrest me for sitting in the driver’s seat whilst exceeding the legal alcohol level?
A separate offence of being drunk whilst in charge of the motor vehicle (Section 5 (1) (b) Road Traffic Act 1988) can apply even if the engine is switched off and the person is sat in the car. If the police believe the person was in charge of the vehicle then the case can proceed to Court. A defence would be available if the defendant could show on the balance of probabilities that there was no likelihood that they would drive the vehicle. Here at Blaser Mills Law we have a wealth of experience when dealing with all drink driving related offences. Should you face a Court hearing then contact us today on 02038142020.
How long will a drink driving conviction remain on my driving licence record?
The code for a drink driving offence (Section 5 (1) (a) Road Traffic Act 1988) will show as a DR10 on a driving licence checker. If convicted of this offence then the licence will show this offence for a period of 11 years from the date of the offence. It will remain on the licence for 10 live years and a further one year as an expired offence before it is removed. However, a record of this conviction would remain on the police national database so therefore would appear if a DBS or CRB check was conducted. Upon applying for insurance to drive after a period of disqualification, the insurance company need to be notified of any disqualification that appears on the licence and this will affect the cost of car insurance.
Do the Court send people to prison for a drink drive offence?
If a guilty plea is entered or a guilty verdict is found after trial the Court will sentence a person based on the level of their breath, blood or urine reading. The Sentencing Council have published sentencing guidelines for drink driving and these can be found here https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/magistrates-court/item/excess-alcohol-driveattempt-to-drive-revised-2017/
In addition to a driving disqualification the court will either issue a fine, community order or a period of imprisonment. A six month period of imprisonment is the maximum a Court can impose for a drink drive offender however should a conviction for causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink apply, the maximum punishment available to the Court is 14 years.
At Blaser Mills Law we pride ourselves on providing a bespoke service which leaves no stone unturned when preparing the case and achieving the best result possible in Court.
Will my licence be returned automatically after my disqualification?
Upon being disqualified the offender is required to send their licence to the DVLA. Once the disqualification period has expired, driving can only resume once the new licence is in the person’s possession. Should the individual be classed as a ‘high risk offender’ then the DVLA will require the person to pass a medical examination to prove their fitness to drive prior to the licence being returned.
How do I know if I am a high risk offender?
You will be classed as a high risk offender if one of the following apply:
- were convicted of 2 drink driving offences within 10 years
- were driving with an alcohol reading of at least 87.5 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, 200 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, or 267.5 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 milliletres of urine
- refused to give the police a sample of breath, blood or urine to test for alcohol
- refused to allow a sample of your blood to be tested for alcohol
Contact us today
Being charged or summonsed for a drink driving offence should not be taken lightly. Acting quickly to get an expert team on your side can help minimise the disruption and uncertainty. Get in touch to set up a meeting today.