If you are prosecuted for driving whilst over the prescribed limit (drink driving) this can have serious consequences for you and your family.
If this is your first offence you will be banned from driving for a minimum of 12 months up rising to three years in more serious cases. You will also receive a fine rising to a community order or even a prison sentence in certain circumstances.
Sentencing in more detail
The court has guidelines available to them when sentencing offences. If you are a first-time offender, and enter a guilty plea at the Magistrates’ Court the offence will fall under one of four categories. Sentencing can range from a Band C fine and 12 months of disqualification at the lower end, to 26 weeks in custody and 36 months of disqualification at the higher end.
However, if you have a previous ‘relevant conviction’ in the preceding 10 years to the current incident, the starting point for a ban is 3 years and can rise to 5 years in more serious instances.
Do you have a defence?
- You were not the driver
- The driving did not take place on a road or public place
- The procedure in taking the sample was not carried out correctly
- The testing equipment was not operating correctly or accurately
- If you were under the limit at the time you were driving (you drank alcohol at home which put you over the limit). This is known as the ‘hip flask’ defence
- Special Reasons (if established, court has discretion not to disqualify you).
Reducing your driving ban
- Your driving ban can be reduced by up to 25% if you agree to attend a Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course. You must pay for this course and you must agree to advise the court at the time of your sentence hearing that you want to attend such a course.
Our team of expert motoring solicitors can be contacted at GT Stewart by completing our online enquiry form or by phone on 020 8299 6000
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