Drink driving charges: The things you need to know

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According to the latest statistics, more than half a million breathalyser tests are performed each year, and on average 100,000 are found to be positive. With such a high number of these charges, it’s surprising how many people still find drink driving law such murky waters to navigate.

It’s important to understand that you can still be charged with an alcohol related motoring offence even if you’re not at the wheel, and that a charge doesn’t always mean an automatic ban. How? Read on to find out…

What is drink driving?

The way in which alcohol affects you can depend on your weight, gender, metabolism and age, but the government legal limit in England and Wales is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 mg/100ml of blood or 107mg/100ml of urine . Drink driving charges occur when a person is accused of driving and provides a specimen which is over one of these limits.

If the police suspect that you were drunk in charge of a vehicle, an arrest and a requirement for specimens of breath at the police station can still be made. If you have been charged with this offence, it is a defence if established that there was no likelihood driving the vehicle whilst over the legal limit.

Errors and mistakes

Given that these charges rely on a large amount of human procedures, it’s understandable that errors and mistakes can occur along the way. It could be that a breathalyser was faulty, or that the officer made mistakes when operating it or, in the case of failure to provide specimen charges, provided incorrect instructions about how to blow into the machine.

It could be that you have a medical condition such as a lung problem that prevents you from giving the correct requirement for a sample, in which case a charge of “failure to provide specimens” can be defended.

It could even be the case that you were transferred to a hospital for medical treatment and the police may not have followed the correct procedure for obtaining specimens. In any of these cases, it is vital that you seek legal advice.

Does it mean an immediate ban?

This depends on a number of factors, but a charge itself does not mean an inevitable ban. Firstly, it should be noted that there are distinct differences between sentencing for “drink driving” as opposed “drunk in charge” charges. For example, “drunk in charge” does not carry an automatic ban, instead carrying a minimum 10 penalty points, or discretionary disqualification. The solicitors at drinkdrivesolicitor.com can help you avoid conviction and minimise the risk of disqualification

If you found this article of use, please feel free to leave a comment – have you been accused of drink driving recently?

May 18, 2016 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: News