Drink Driving

Drink Driving Solicitors & Lawyers

At Kirwans, we understand the complexities that can arise from allegations of drink driving and the impact it can have on your life.

Each case of drink driving or being drunk in charge of a vehicle is unique. With the Just Motor Law service you have access to specialist solicitors who carefully examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest and scrutinise the procedures the Police have followed. Our aim is simple; to establish a defence or to establish an argument to save your driving licence.

Examples of defences that may be applicable to your case include post driving consumption of alcohol, failures by the police in the statutory rules governing drink driving procedures or a factual dispute about the actual driving.

Drink Driving

The law defines drink driving as driving, or attempting to drive, a vehicle on a public road or highway after consuming a quantity of alcohol that the proportion of it within a person’s breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit (S5. Road Traffic Act 1988).

The current legal limits are:

• 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of breath
• 80mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood
• 107mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine

Alcohol levels in our bodies depend on many variable factors. For example, the alcohol content of your drink, your weight and height and whether or not you have eaten.

The penalties for drink driving depend on various factors of a particular offence and on your personal mitigation. Consequently, sentences vary widely and can come with life changing consequences.

You can receive:

• A fine of up to £5000, through to a community sentence such as unpaid work in the community, an electronically monitored curfew, or up to six months imprisonment for the most serious offenders;
• Disqualification for a minimum of 12 months;
• Disqualification increases to a minimum of three years if you have a previous relevant conviction within the last 10 years;
• Potential loss of employment;
• Rise in insurance premiums;
• Criminal record that will have to be declared to future employers.

If the Police have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of excess alcohol, they can request a roadside breath test. This test provides the Police with a reading and if positive you will be arrested.

A further sample will be requested from you whilst at the police station.

Where the evidential sample is a breath test, the Police must follow strict protocol and obtain two specimens of breath. If both breath test readings exceed 50 micrograms of alcohol often the driver will be charged with a drink driving offence. If the breath reading is unreliable, the testing device is not working properly or there is a medical reason why you cannot provide a breath sample, the Police will then seek to obtain either blood or urine.

It is essential that the Police follow the correct procedures when requesting, taking and testing samples; this is where the advice and guidance of our specialist team can help.

What happens next?

As specialist drink driving solicitors, we understand the strict procedures that the Police must adhere to and have vast experience with the sentencing guidelines that the Courts will apply. We will help you in presenting any evidence that will allow the Courts to deal with you fairly and leniently.

If you decide to plead guilty to the charge of drink driving we can assist you in presenting a case that could result in the Court applying some leniency with the penalty. We have successfully secured lesser penalties than the guidelines suggest for clients by preparing strong evidential defence arguments for the Courts.

If you wish to challenge the prosecution, our expert team are on hand to guide you through and advise you on the best possible approach.

Upon instruction our team will begin in preparing your defence. This can involve instructing third party experts, for example forensic or toxicologist experts.

If you decide to defend the charge of drink driving you are permitted to drive as your licence will only be affected if you are convicted. 

In some cases our team will advise on a Special Reasons defence with the aim of avoiding mandatory disqualification. A Special Reasons argument is based on the facts of your individual case and the circumstances surrounding it.

With our Motor Law team you have access to a leading defence team that will provide you with the necessary advice and guidance as to whether a Special Reasons argument can be established.

We have a detailed knowledge of the ever evolving, complex body of case law governing how these arguments are determined and have extensive experience in presenting these arguments successfully to the court.

It is important to remember that by seeking legal advice from the outset you can help to ensure that any complexities and potential implications are effectively managed. Having access to expert advice can bring peace of mind at a time when you face uncertainty and concerns for what lies ahead.

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