Drink driving

If you're facing a drink driving offence, the specialist motoring offence solicitors at Forbes could help you to keep hold of your licence and stay on the road.

More about Drink driving

Our motoring offence solicitors have extensive experience defending drink driving offences. If you've been caught drink driving, you should seek legal representation immediately. Speak to one of our specialist solicitors on 01772 220 022 or complete the online form.

Our motoring offence solicitors will start by investigating the circumstances of your case. This may involve contacting witnesses, reviewing CCTV where appropriate and requesting inspection facilities of the machine that took your breathalyser reading. In some cases, we may need to instruct toxicologist experts.

The standard procedure, if you've been involved in a road traffic accident, is to do a breath test. If you fail the breath test, the police will arrest you and take you into custody unless you need medical attention, in which case, you will be taken to the hospital where they may take a blood or urine sample. If you have failed a breath test following a road traffic accident contact Forbes Solicitors motoring offence team on 01772 220 022.

The Drink drive limit

The Drink drive limit

Every person is different and reacts differently to different amounts of alcohol. The effects it has on your body can depend on factors such as your height and weight; the type of alcohol consumed; your age; the rate of your metabolism; whether you have eaten beforehand or not. It is impossible to say exactly how many drinks a person can have before getting into the driving seat; however, it is wise not to drive at all if you have had an alcoholic drink. The legal drink driving limit is set out as follows. If a roadside breath test reveals you have excessive alcohol in your system, you will be arrested and taken to the police station for further evidential tests.

Level of alcohol (Micrograms per 100 millilitres) England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Breath 35
Blood 80
Urine 107

Drink driving penalties

Drink driving penalties

If you're charged with driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit you could face a minimum 12 month driving ban and up to six months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

A drink driving conviction is very serious and you should seek expert legal advice before the Court hearing to get the best chance of a successful outcome. If you're facing prosecution for a drink driving offence, contact our expert motoring offence Solicitors today on 01772 220 022.

If you are found guilty, not only will you receive a minimum driving ban of 12 months and possible imprisonment, you could also face losing your job, especially if your job requires that you hold a valid UK driving licence. You will lose your independence and ability to do day to day things.

At the end of your driving ban, your licence will not just be handed back to you, you will likely have to attend a driver's rehabilitation course and may even be required to undergo a medical examination before you can start driving again.

A conviction for drink driving will stay on your licence for 11 years which means if you are a professional, you will have to declare the conviction to the regulatory body.

Our specialist motoring offence team will can help you if you're facing charges for drink driving, even if you have already pleaded guilty to the offence. Contact one of our expert motoring offence solicitors today to discuss your options on 01772 220 022. We often defend people who have been out for one or two drinks with friends and simply don't realise that having two drinks may put them over the legal driving limit. For many of the people who come to us for advice, it is their first driving offence.

Drink driving FAQs

What happens if you’re caught drink driving?

If the police have good reason to suspect you may be driving under the influence, they will ask you to do a roadside breathalyser test.

If you've been involved in a road traffic accident, it is normal practice to be asked to take a roadside breathalyser test.

If you fail the breath test, you will be arrested and taken to the police station where you will be required to take another breathalyser test. If you've been involved in an accident and have an injury, you will be taken to the hospital where you will likely have to provide a blood or urine sample. Analysis of these samples can take between 4 to 6 weeks and you will not be charged until the samples have been analysed. The lower of the two breathalyser readings will be used during the prosecution.

What is the legal drink driving limit?

The legal drink driving limit is 35ug per 100ml of breath however police can exercise discretion up to 39ug. If the sample if provide is over 40ug, you will have to attend a Court date one week to 10 days from the date you were charged with drink driving. Level of alcohol (Micrograms per 100 millilitres) England, Wales and Northern Ireland - Breath 35 - Blood 80 - Urine 107

Will I be interviewed for drink driving?

No. You are only likely to be interviewed if they have insufficient evidence to prove you was driving.

Can I still drive before drink driving Court date?

Unless a bail condition prohibits you from driving, you can continue to drive as normal. A bail condition would only be granted if there are medical concerns for example if there where concerns that you may black out or lose consciousness at the wheel.

What is the fine for drink driving?

If you are found guilty of drink driving, you will receive a fine equivalent to 1.5 times that of your net weekly income.

What if I refuse to do a breath test for drink driving?

If you refuse to do the breath test or to provide a specimen of blood or urine, you could face a more serious charge for failure to provide a specimen. This could result in up to six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine or a minimum 12 month driving ban.

How long does a drink driving conviction stay on your license?

A drink driving conviction will be held on your license for 11 years from the date of conviction. If convicted of another driving offence within ten years of a driving conviction, you will face much tougher penalties with a minimum disqualification of 3 years.

What are ‘special reasons’ in a drink driving offence case?

In some cases, our solicitors can apply to the Court to not impose a driving ban even if you have pleaded guilty to the offence. If you have been caught over the limit however have only driven a very short distance, you may avoid a disqualification. You may also avoid a driving ban if unknowingly, your drink has been laced with something. You may also have a defence if procedures are not followed correctly.

How long will my drink driving case take?

Timescales can be anything from three to six months. It is all dependent on the individuals circumstances and whether the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty.

Our dedicated Motoring Offences team

Gareth Price.jpg

Partner and Head of Magistrates Court/Police Station (Blackburn), Crime

Gareth Price

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Partner, Crime

Simon Gretton


Senior Associate, Crime

David Scully

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