Drink Driving

The Offence

driving or being in charge of a vehicle when unfit due to drink or drugs or when alcohol levels were above the prescribed limit

Likely Punishment

Up to 6 months in prison, fine up to £5000, 3-11 points and revocation of your licence for a minimum period of 12 months

Defences

Range from technical (breathalyser used properly) to factual (spiked drinks, alcohol consumed after driving)

Related Offences

Refusing a Specimen

Guide to Drink Driving

Drink Driving Offences

Allegations of drink driving fall under 2 sections of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and create 6 categories of offences. However there are 2 main offences that are pursued by the police.

1. Driving or being in charge of a vehicle when unfit due to drink or drugs

The Court would regard a person as being unfit if their ability to drive was impaired in any way.

2. Driving or being in charge of a vehicle when alcohol levels were above the prescribed limit

The police need to show alcohol levels were above the limits set down in law when the person drove, attempted to drive or was in charge of a vehicle on a road or other public place.

Drink Driving: Refusing a specimen

If you are seeking information on failure/refusal to provide a specimen then please go to our guide on refusing a specimen.

Do I need an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) for Drink Driving?

No, there is no requirement for an NIP for drink driving.

Likely Punishment for Drink Driving

Up to 6 months in prison, fine up to £5000, 3-11 points and disqualification from driving for a minimum period of 12 months (36 months for a second offence).

Defences to charges of Drink Driving

The prosecution regard this as a serious offence and may punish with custody.  Where faced with this charge we recommend you seek prompt legal advice. Defences can range from technical (whether the police complied with requirements when testing alcohol levels) to factual (whether there was an actual intent to drive or who was actually driving). Issues can also arise over whether drinks were spiked, whether alcohol was consumed after driving or too close to the driving to have had an effect. Many defences to drink drive allegations are of a technical nature, but even factual defences will often require supporting expert evidence. They are best advanced by medical experts and lawyers with specific expertise in these matters.

Drink Driving Legal Advice

If you have a charge for driving a vehicle whilst unfit due to drink or for driving a vehicle whilst alcohol levels were above the prescribed limit please call us on 0800 2800 912 for expert legal advice on drink driving with one of our lawyers.

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