• Drink Driving

There are various offences within the drink-driving category of Road Traffic Act 1988.

Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above the limit carries a mandatory 12 month disqualification; the length of your ban will depend on how high the reading is. Check the guideline here to see how long you are likely to be disqualified for.

Being in charge of a vehicle while your alcohol level is above the limit carries a minimum of 10 penalty points but you can be disqualified. This can be defended if you can satisfy the Court that there was no likelihood of you driving whilst over the limit.

The legal limits are: 35 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 millilitres of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood and 107 millilitres of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

Special Reasons

These can be argued when you face an obligatory driving ban or obligatory penalty points. This is not a defence and you will still be convicted. However if Special Reasons are established you may be able to avoid the court imposing the mandatory ban or points. It is important to note that the decision to accept your Special Reasons argument it is at the court’s discretion. Furthermore you will still be liable to other penalties such as payment of costs or a fine.

Common special reasons used in drink-drive offences include:

    • Spiked drinks
    • The car was driven only a very short distance
    • The car was only driven in response to an emergency

Stages for a guilty plea

We will meet with you, consider the evidence and advise on the likely sentence and then represent you at court. We will then discuss the outcome with you after the case. The fee will not include obtaining expert or other witness statements to assist your case, advice and assistance on a special reasons hearing or advice on an appeal.

How much will it cost?

Costs will vary depending upon the circumstances of your case but typically the fees will range from £650 to £1,000 + VAT depending on the circumstances and where the case will be heard and we will discuss this with you when you first come to see us.
Timescales will again depend on the facts of the case and when your case is listed with the court. Typically it will take between 2 and 6 months to complete dependent upon when the case is listed by the court.
You should be aware that legal aid is not generally available for motoring offences, unless they are of the more serious kind. We can advise you on whether you may be eligible when we first meet.

  • Penalties for drink driving:

    Obligatory disqualification of at least twelve months
    Up to six months imprisonment
    Unlimited fine
    The endorsement remains on your driving licence for eleven years

  • Penalties for being in charge of a vehicle while over the limit:

    Discretionary disqualification between twelve and six months
    Up to three months imprisonment
    A fine up to £2,500
    10 penalty points
    The endorsement remains on licence for four years

  • A conviction will also:

    Significantly increase insurance costs
    Exclude you from certain jobs if you are required to drive
    Make it more difficult for you to travel to certain countries, such as the USA