Drink Driving Defences - Breath Reading

In the UK, the current prescribed alcohol limit while driving is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. 

You may be facing a prosecution based on the alleged level of alcohol in your body exceeding the legal limit. If you are being prosecuted on the basis of a breath specimen that you provided, it is likely that one of the following will apply:

  • You provided two satisfactory specimens of breath. Both readings obtained exceeded 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath; or
  • Both of the breath readings obtained exceeded the legal limit but were less than 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. You were offered the option to replace your breath specimens with either a sample of blood or urine but you declined; or

Drink Driving Penalty Calculator

Answer the 4 questions below to get an idea of what the penalty for your motoring offence could be.

  • Type
  • Reading
  • Convictions
  • Circumstances
  • What type of test were you given?

    • Breath
    • Blood
    • Urine
  • What was your breath reading?

    • 36-59
    • 60-89
    • 90-119
    • 120-150

    What was your blood alcohol level?

    • 81-137
    • 138-206
    • 207-275
    • 276-345

    What was your urine alcohol level?

    • 108-183
    • 184-274
    • 275-366
    • 367-481
  • Have you had any conviction for drink drive related matters in the last 10 years?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Were you stopped by the police due to the manner of your driving or after being involved in an accident?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Result

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  • Both of the breath readings obtained exceeded the legal limit but were less than 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The officer erroneously failed to provide you with the option to replace your breath specimens with either a sample of blood or urine.

To speak to our specialist solicitors about potential drink driving defences, call 0800 804 8159 or complete our online contact form.

Types of Drink Driving Defence Following Breath Readings 

Many motorists find themselves in a situation where they are found to be over the drink driving limit but believe they should not be. For example, the breath reading may suggest they have drunk more than they actually did or that there was too much alcohol in their body despite waiting for several hours or even overnight to drive.

If you find yourself in one of the above situations, you may feel a sense of panic. You may also believe that there is nothing you can do to avoid a conviction. This is not the case. Some of the defences we regularly and successfully use in drink driving breath cases involve challenges to:

  • Police procedure - Our expert solicitors will consider all aspects of your case with regards to the police procedures that were followed from the moment you first came into contact with the police until the moment you were released from police custody, and the manner in which the breath reading was obtained. The slightest oversight or breach of procedure could amount to a defence.
  • Testing machine functionality - We will also consider issues relating to the functioning of the breath test device that was used by the police and various other issues that could have affected the performance of the machine. Our view is that all of the machines relied upon by the police are open to challenge. All of our lawyers possess knowledge relating to the technical workings of these machines and have access to some of the leading experts in this particular field, who are be able to comment on the functionality of the machine in question.

Contact JMW Today

For a free, no obligation discussion about the defences that may be available to you, please call us today on 0800 804 8159. Alternatively, please feel free to or fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

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