Following a roadside breath test, a motorist may be arrested on suspicion of driving whilst over the prescribed legal limit if that person shows signs of intoxication, provides a positive test or refuses to provide a test.

In such circumstances, the motorist will be conveyed to a local Police Station and asked to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine to assess whether their alcohol level exceeds the prescribed limit.  

This has been standard practice since the inception of the Road Safety Act 1967 and a prosecution leading to conviction for driving whilst under the influence of excess alcohol will lead to a mandatory loss of the motorist’s driving licence for at least one year plus, ordinarily, a financial penalty.

Given that the most serious cases may lead to imprisonment it is essential that experienced legal advice is sought immediately. 

Occasionally, it may be possible to challenge the circumstances of a test upon which a prosecution relies and the team of motoring experts at Kangs Solicitors is experienced in advising clients in relation to potential defences available for all motoring offences.

Since 1997 we have been here to assist our clients, both established and new ones to provide positive solutions to whatever criminal issue may arise.  We are top ranked in both the leading law directories (Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners) for our work in defending criminal allegations.

For an initial no obligations discussion, please contact our team at any of our offices detailed below:

The Relevant Law | Kangs Motoring Law Solicitors

Section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that:

if a person drives or attempts to drive (or is in charge of) a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit then he is guilty of an offence. 

In order to secure a conviction it must be proven that the accused:

  • was the actual driver, in order to avoid any identity issues,
  • was in the process of driving,
  • was driving a motor vehicle,
  • was driving on a road or a public place,
  • had excess alcohol in their body at the time of the analysis.

There is a presumption in law that an evidential breathalyser machine will be working correctly and this presumption must therefore be rebutted if a defence is to be successful. 

Possible Defence | Challenging an Adverse Reading | Kangs Driving Offences  Defence Solicitors

  • A motorist may dispute the level of the reading alleging that insufficient alcohol had been consumed to provide such a reading.  
  • In the case of Cracknell v Willis (1988) the House of Lords stated that it was possible to challenge the reading from a breathalyser device and also commented that there was no restriction on the type of evidence that a Defendant could introduce to challenge the assumption that the breathalyser was working properly.
  • Motorists are entitled to rely upon evidence from themselves and others in support of their contention that less alcohol had been consumed than the amount indicated by the Police evidence.

However, the Judgment of the House of Lords also stated:

‘Magistrates should give proper scrutiny to such defences and will be fully aware of the strength of the evidence provided by a print-out taken from an approved device’.

How Can We Help? | Kangs National Motoring Offences Defence Solicitors

If you are concerned with any of the issues raised in this article or you have been arrested for a motoring offence it is essential that you seek advice at the earliest opportunity.

How Can I Contact You? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

Our award winning team of solicitors is nationally reputed for its excellence in criminal and motoring offences of every nature.

We welcome enquiries by telephone or email. 

Our team is available to meet at any our offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester or alternatively we are happy to arrange meetings via video conferencing. 

Please feel free to contact:

Sukhdip Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Aman Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 0121 449 9888