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Drink Driving

Are you looking for the best Road Traffic Solicitors to defend you on a charge of Drink Driving?

When it comes to protecting your driving licence, we understand the potentially devastating impact of a road traffic charge on the reputation, livelihood and liberty of those we represent.

So, if you’re facing what for you is the legal minefield of a drink driving charge, tip the scales in your favour - Get in touch now.

What is the law on drink driving?

Under section 5(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a person charged with drink driving is accused of driving  - or attempting to drive - a motor vehicle on a road or public place when the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit.

‘Attempting to drive’ means that, even if the car remains stationary, a conviction could arise if there is evidence of making an active effort to drive.

In Scotland, since a change in the law in 2014, the ‘prescribed’ or legal limit is as follows:

  • 22 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath (previously 35mg)
  • 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of blood (previously 80mg)
  • 67 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of urine (previously 107mg)

Drink driving charges are technical, complex and serious. It, therefore, makes sense to protect your licence by obtaining early expert advice as to what can be done in your case.

What are the penalties?

If a person is convicted of drink driving, the consequences for you – and your family - can be severe and long-lasting.

In particular, drink driving carries a minimum driving ban of one year, though the period of disqualification can be longer depending on factors, such as the level or amount of alcohol consumed, the manner of driving, and the age and type of any previous road traffic convictions. Indeed, if a person has a previous conviction for drink driving within the past 10 years, the minimum period of disqualification rises from 1 year to 3 years.

The court will also usually impose a financial penalty (of up to £5,000), and in the most serious cases, the court may consider a custodial sentence, or an alternative to custody such as unpaid work in the community or a Restriction of Liberty Order (electronic tag).

Further, in some cases, such as particularly high alcohol readings or repeat drink drivers, the prosecution can apply to the court to seize and sell the motor vehicle.

Again, therefore, given the potential consequences of a drink driving conviction for your licence, your job, your car and, of course, your family, it makes sense to obtain early expert guidance on what can properly be done to avoid or reduce the penalties in your case.

How can we help?

You can count on our award-winning team to identify the right questions, provide the right answers and deliver the best solutions.

Here are just some of the ways in which we can help:

  • Flaws in prosecution case? Are there any grounds  - technical or otherwise – to contest the charge against you? For example, is there anything to indicate that the breathalyser device was not working or measuring properly? Is there anything to suggest that police officers failed to properly operate the breathalyser or correctly follow crucial procedures?
  • Alcohol after driving? Do you believe that the alcohol reading in your case is explained, in whole or in part, by alcohol consumed by you after you drove? Or that the alcohol reading may have been affected by some medicine or medical condition? If so, we have the know-how to properly investigate any such line of defence and, in particular, to enlist the help of the relevant forensic experts needed to assess any such cases.
  • Reduction in charge? Is there any basis to ask the prosecutor or court to reduce the charge from drink-driving to one of “drunk and in charge”, a less serious offence which raises the possibility of avoiding disqualification? For example, can the prosecutor or court be persuaded that the evidence points to you having been ‘in charge’ or control of the vehicle when stationary, rather than the vehicle having been driven or moved?
  • Minimising driving ban? If you are considering a full or partial plea of guilty, you can count on our considerable forensic and tactical skills to negotiate the best possible plea with the prosecutor, to present the best possible case to the court and to secure for you the lowest possible penalty.

For example, if because of the circumstances of your case, the court is considering a driving ban longer than the minimum one year period, then there may be a legal basis to ask the court to “discount” or reduce any such longer ban, in particular, to give you credit if your plea of guilty is tendered early in the proceedings.

Further, when the court has decided on the appropriate length of ban in your case, it may also be possible to persuade the court to reduce the period of that ban by a further 25%, if you agree to participate at a future date in what is known as the ‘drink drive rehabilitation scheme’, the purpose of which is to educate about the risks of drink-driving and thereby reduce those risks for the future.

  • Keeping your vehicle? If, because of a particularly high alcohol reading or a previous conviction for drink driving, yours is a case where the prosecution is seeking to seize and sell your car, we can guide and represent you on any grounds for arguing against such seizure, for example, that, having regard to the value of the car, seizure would be excessive or disproportionate in your particular case.

What are the costs?

Firstly, given the importance of you finding exactly the right lawyer to protect your driving licence, we have the confidence to provide every client with a first, diagnostic consultation, free of charge.

Thereafter, depending upon your financial position and the nature of your case, it may be possible for us to represent you under the Scottish Legal Aid scheme. If, however, Legal Aid is not available or appropriate in your case, whilst any fee chargeable thereafter will depend upon the complexity of your case, we are always happy to provide you with the certainty of a fee agreed in advance, and, if you prefer, usually the reassurance of a fixed fee arrangement, rather than fees based upon each item of work.

Equally, if you have a motor insurance policy or house insurance policy which provides you with cover for the legal costs of defending a motoring prosecution in Scotland, we would always be content to discuss acting for you on this basis. If you are in any doubt as to the terms of cover under any such insurance policy, again, we would be happy to examine the terms of any such policy at your first free consultation.

To tip the scales in your favour, get in touch now.

So, once again, why choose Adams Whyte Road Traffic Solicitors to defend you?

Here are just 5 reasons:

  • We are already the trusted choice of thousands of clients who over the years have relied on the expertise of our motoring law solicitors to deliver for them the best possible result in road traffic cases right across the country.
  • For the countless clients who, year after year, choose us to protect their driving licence, we have an impressively high rate of success and satisfaction.
  • Those who recommend or instruct us include individuals from fields as varied as law and policing, to medicine and banking, to sport and entertainment.
  • In fighting to keep you on the road, our specialist solicitors provide the highest standards of technical knowledge, forensic analysis, and courtroom advocacy, for example in exposing and arguing against any technical or legal flaws in the case against you.
  • Given the importance of you finding the right lawyer to protect your driving licence, we have the confidence to provide every client with a first, diagnostic consultation, free of charge.

To give yourself the best chance of the best outcome, get in touch now.


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