Driving with alcohol above the legal limit is a serious offence. The current levels are:
- 35 micrograms per 100 milliliters of breath
- 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood
- 107 milligrams per 100 milliliters of urine
It is impossible to say how many drinks this equates to.
There are a number of factors which could influence the effect of alcohol such as:
- your weight,
- your age,
- your sex,
- your metabolism,
- the type and amount of alcohol consumed,
- What you have eaten.
There are a number of defences which could be raised; for example:
- Demonstrating that you were not the driver;
- Denying you were driving on a road or in a public place;
- Arguing that you consumed the alcohol after you had stopped driving;
- Questioning the credibility of the police evidence.
If your defence does not succeed or you plead guilty to the offence of drink driving you may be able to argue ‘special reasons’ for the Court not to disqualify you.
Possible examples of ‘special reasons’ are, although courts are extremely reluctant to accept them:
- Your drinks were laced without your knowledge and you did not realise that you were over the legal limit;
- You were driving in an emergency and had no other choice;
- You only drove a short distance and did not put any other road users at risk.
The Magistrates use prescribed sentencing guidelines as outlined below to give you an indication of the level of sentence upon conviction.
Note that the starting points are based on a first time offender who pleaded not guilty:
|Level of alcohol||Starting point||Range||Disqualification||Disqual. 2nd offence in 10 years – see note below|
|Breath (μg)||Blood (mg)||Urine (mg)|
|36 – 59||81 – 137||108 – 183||Band C Fine||Band C Fine||12 – 16 months||36 – 40 months|
|60 – 89||138 – 206||184 – 274||Band C Fine||Band C Fine||17 – 22 months||36 – 46 months|
|90 – 119||207 – 275||275 – 366||Medium level community order||Low level community order to high level community order||23 – 28 months||36 – 52 months|
|120 – 150 and above||276 – 345 and above||367 – 459 and above||12 weeks custody||High level community order to 26 weeks custody||29 – 36 months||36 – 60 months|
The final column provides guidance regarding the length of disqualification that may be appropriate in cases to which the three year minimum applies. The period to be imposed in any individual case will depend on an assessment of all the relevant circumstances, including the length of time since the earlier ban was imposed and the gravity of the current offence.
How Kangs Solicitors Can Help
We are able to offer clients initial advice as well as representation in court in relation to drink driving cases.
We are here to help you whether you are:
- looking to plead not guilty and put forward a defence,
- advance a ‘special reasons’ argument to avoid a driving disqualification, or
- present the best possible mitigation to the court. This could make the difference between a custodial sentence or a community penalty. In all cases we would submit to the court that you undertake the drink driver awareness scheme which once completed reduces any period of disqualification imposed by 25%.
If you find yourself in need of assistance in relation to a drink drive allegation please contact: