Drink driving

Drink Driving is a very serious matter. A conviction for the offence of drink driving carries a mandatory disqualification for a minimum period of 12 months and dependant upon the alcohol reading and other factors, can attract a prison sentence!

picture shows beer bottles on table with a set of keys in front of themThe legal limit for drink driving varies dependant upon whether it is breath, blood or urine that the measurement is being taken from. The limits are as follows:

  • 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
  • 80 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of blood
  • 107 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of urine

If the police suspect that you are or have been driving a motor vehicle on a road or public place, whilst under the influence of alcohol, they can request you to undertake a roadside breath test. This handheld device will give the police an indication as to whether you have been drink driving and will calculate the level of alcohol you have in you. Failure to comply with the request for a roadside breath test is an offence.

The decision to prosecute for the offence of Drink Driving depends upon the result of an evidential sample that is taken at the police station (or hospital in certain circumstances). That sample is usually one of breath and subject to that reading, a sample of blood or urine may be requested.

The police have to follow strict procedures about the requesting of and administering a test. Failure to follow these procedures correctly, may mean that the prosecution is not valid.

If you have been charged with Drink Driving or are awaiting the results of blood or urine test, contact Carl for a free initial consultation. You should do this as soon as possible.

Is there anyway I can avoid the disqualification for drink driving?

Firstly, there is the need to asses whether the offence of drink driving was committed, were you the driver? and have the procedures been followed correctly? If the answers to those questions are Yes, then we need to look at; Do any “special reasons” exist? if they do, and successfully argued then the Court, whilst convicting you of the offence of drink driving, may decide not to impose the disqualification. See our section on Application for Special Reasons for further details.

If I am guilty of drink driving, how long will I be banned for?

Upon conviction of drink driving, the Court must impose a mandatory disqualification of 12 months (in the absence of “special reasons”). The length of such disqualification will depend on the actual alcohol reading and the factors of the case. It also depends on whether it is your first, second or subsequent conviction for Drink Driving.

What if it is my second conviction for drink driving?

If you are convicted of drink driving for a second or subsequent time (within a 10 year period), the Court must impose a minimum disqualification of 3 years. The actual length of the disqualification will de depend on the alcohol reading and factors of your case.

Will I automatically go to prison for drink driving?

Terms of imprisonment for drink driving are reserved for the most serious of cases, such as those involving a very high reading (120 or above in breath) or cases where accidents occured and injuries sustained. It is not automatic and you should talk to us straight away, so we can fully advise, prepare and represent you, giving you the best opportunity to keep your liberty.


If you have been charged with or summonsed to Court with a matter of drink driving, then speak to Carl TODAY and see how he can help you.

Call him on 01482 227669 or email him at carlcodd@tridentsolicitors.co.uk