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Drink Driving Solicitors
If you have been stopped by the police on suspicion of drink driving, the expert drink driving solicitors at JMW can provide the legal assistance you need. It is important to first seek legal advice to ensure you are able to build a robust defence and to protect your rights.
Our straightforward, no-nonsense approach is what sets us apart from the rest. With our in-depth knowledge of drink driving testing procedures and equipment, we get straight to the point and ensure that our clients are treated justly.
Drink Driving Penalty Calculator
Answer the 4 questions below to get an idea of what the penalty for your motoring offence could be.
Q1. What type of test were you given?
Q2. What was your breath reading?
Q2. What was your blood alcohol level?
Q2. What was your urine alcohol level?
Q3. Have you had any conviction for drink drive related matters in the last 10 years?
Q4. Were you stopped by the police due to the manner of your driving or after being involved in an accident?
Find out more about financial penalties
We can help. Call us on 0800 804 8159
How JMW Can Help
JMW has an enviable success rate when it comes to defending drink drive matters. Our success is built on our strong desire to protect the interests of motorists and our refusal to accept defeat. We at JMW believe that every case is winnable.
The process of appearing in court can be a stressful and lengthy one. However, even if you feel the odds are stacked against you, do not let the court intimidate you out of action. It is vital that you enlist the help of expert drink driving solicitors as there are likely defences and cut-corners in the process you have not even considered, and these tiny details may save you licence, job, and day-to-day life if exploited correctly.
Our solicitors have extensive knowledge of the intricacies of procedures followed by the police when dealing with drink drive cases. They also have extensive technical knowledge relating to the functioning of the various breath testing machines used by the police, as well as the analytical methodology used when analysing blood/urine specimens.
We also have an association with many leading experts in areas such as:
- Forensic medicine
- Respiratory medicine
- Electronic engineering
- Forensic toxicology
This in-depth knowledge allows us to advance highly technical defences that other law firms are unaware of.
Defences for Drink Driving Following Blood or Urine Sample
At JMW, our specialist solicitors make use of a range of defences that help to protect the interests of those accused of drink driving after having to give a blood or urine sample.
Some examples of these kinds of defences include matters relating to:
- Police procedure - It is surprising how often officers get drink driving procedures wrong by mistakenly following incorrect procedures. Officers must offer you the option of giving a blood or urine sample if you have provided what is known as a 'borderline' breath sample, or the breath testing machine was unavailable or broken
- Police procedure in hospital - You may have been taken to hospital as a result of an injury or injuries sustained following an accident. Many experienced officers struggle to fully understand the procedures they must legally follow when taking samples from people in hospital. This can, and often does, lead to mistakes
- Police bail - It normally takes between six and eight weeks for the police to receive confirmation of the blood alcohol reading from the laboratory, but it has been known to sometimes take longer. If you are currently awaiting the result of your blood test, you can still get in touch with us and we can start to lay the foundations of your defence
How Serious Are Drink Driving Penalties?
Drink driving penalties can be extremely severe. This is because drink driving is viewed by the courts as one of the most serious motoring offences, due to alcohol’s known effect on the judgement and abilities of a driver, and the potential for an incident to cause serious harm to a driver or other members of the public.
Penalties can vary considerably depending on the circumstances of the case. While many cases can be successfully defended, this is not always the result and, in some instances, focus should be placed on ensuring any sentence is kept to a minimum. The motoring team at JMW is hugely experienced in presenting mitigation to the court and we are best placed to make sure your penalty is no harsher than it needs to be.
Alone, these cases are difficult to deal with due to the fact that you must provide evidence against yourself by submitting test samples of breath, blood, or urine at a police station. This can provide good opportunities for defence. While biological evidence can be difficult to dispute, the defendant can complete a Manual of Guidance on Drink and Drugs (MGDD) document, which also helps us to identify weak points in police procedure. You will need an expert drink driving solicitor to help guide you through these fine, but essential points of defence.
Punishments for Drink Driving
Following a conviction for drunk driving, the court must impose a disqualification from driving for a minimum period of 12 months. This is mandatory unless a special reason exists. The court will also issue a fine of up to £5,000.
Depending on the circumstances, the court could also impose the following penalties:
- Up to six months in prison
- A community order
- Disqualification from driving for a minimum of 36 months if you have been previously convicted of the offence in the last 10 years
- An extended retest
If a second offence is committed within 10 years, the minimum disqualification of one year is increased to three years, while there may also be a greater chance of custody or a community order, depending on the circumstances. Should more than two offences be committed in this 10-year period, a prison sentence will often be considered.
Use the calculator below to find out the penalty you could be facing. Then, get in touch with the specialist solicitors at JMW so that we can help to minimise your inconvenience. We can provide more information about drink driving penalties and explain the potential defences you could mount in order to reduce the likelihood of being handed a severe punishment.
Drink Drive Limits
Blood or urine samples are usually provided if either the breath testing device was unavailable, or you were taken to hospital/experienced medical difficulties after the offence. In England and Wales, the legal alcohol limits for motorists are:
- A maximum of 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath
- A maximum of 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of blood
- A maximum of 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of urine
Take our Drink Drive Penalty Calculator below to find out what the penalty could be for your motoring offence:
You might think that incriminating evidence collected by the police is proof enough that you are guilty. However, as briefly stated above, there are many factors that can be considered and analysed in the process of drink and drug testing.
In our years of experience, we find that people often feel completely hopeless when accused of drunk driving, even before anything has properly been discussed. It is assumed that, because they are the police, their evidence must be correct, and their actions faultless. We would like to remind you that the police are not in fact ‘the law’; they are still only people, and people make mistakes. Unlike many other criminal offences, you can not be charged as guilty if the procedure was not carried out completely correctly. This leaves a lot of room for error, and for us to find your innocence.
FAQs on Drink Driving
What are the maximum penalties for drink driving?
Driving ban penalties vary depending on the level of alcohol consumed, what the risks of your dangerous driving were, and your previous record. Losing your licence might only be the start, as you could be fined up to £5,000, and even served up to 14 years of prison time. Even if you plead guilty, your disqualification will not be reduced, and the minimum you will be limited by is 12 months.
You can use our calculator above to work out the penalties applied for different amounts of alcohol.
How much will it cost for a drink driving solicitor?
Depending on your circumstances and whether you are looking for a more senior solicitor, the price we charge will vary. There are also a number of factors that might be able to help with your funding. See our fixed fee page for more information.
Is there any way I can avoid losing my licence?
If you are convicted of a driving offence such as drink driving, you will lose your licence for a period of time, a minimum of 12 months. This is indisputable, and may be more severe depending on the details of your offence. We can help to reduce things such as fines and even prison sentences, but your driving record will suffer regardless. This is treated with the utmost severity due to the fact that driving offences are often the result of endangering other people’s lives.
Partner and Head of Department
Business Crime, Regulation & Driving Offences