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  • Drink driving with excess alcohol

    This is the most common type of offence we deal with here at Oxford Drink Driving Solicitor. You’ll no doubt be worried that you will lose your driving licence, lose your job and you may be worried about a prison sentence. We are here to help people just like you.

    What is drink driving?

    You commit a crime when you drive a car, lorry, bus, motorbike or other motor vehicle on a road while the alcohol in your body is higher than the drink driving limit. The prosecution must prove that:

    1. You drove;
    2. On a road or in a public place; and
    3. You were over the drink driving limit.

    How can I win my drink driving case?

    We will look to attack the prosecution case wherever possible to exclude evidence that you drove and to argue that the place you were stopped is not a “road” – there are a surprising number of places that do not count as roads for drink driving cases. Attacks can also be made on the reliability of the police evidence that you were over the drink driving limit using our bank of talented and highly experienced expert witnesses. If any one of those three elements can be removed then the prosecution will fail and you will be found not guilty.

    As well as attacking the prosecution, we will also advise you on defences that can be deployed to ensure you win your drink driving trial. You can read more about how to win your drink driving trial here.

    Will I lose my driving licence if I plead guilty?

    Let’s be honest for a moment – sometimes a person is in a position they cannot escape from and there is no defence for them to rely upon. But even in these circumstances all hope is not lost. There are two things we can do: special reasons and mitigation.

    Special reasons

    If you plead guilty or are convicted the court is required to disqualify you from driving unless there is a special reason not to do so. A special reason must be something that explains how you came to have excess alcohol in your body, why you drove in that condition or some other circumstance relating to the commission of the offence.

    We have a lot more information about how special reasons can save your driving licence after a drink driving conviction.

    Mitigation

    A plea in mitigation is a speech given by your solicitor on your behalf. Broadly speaking, the speech will explain two things to the judge. First, why the offence is not as serious as the prosecution says it is and secondly why you are somebody who should be treated more leniently than somebody else accused of drink driving.

    Mitigating the offence can mean the difference between a prison sentence and keeping your freedom. It can also mean that the length of your driving disqualification comes tumbling down.

    Personal mitigation can also have a very big impact on your sentence. We use personal mitigation in a variety of ways. We might want to show the judge that you are a responsible person who should be given a second chance. Or we might help the judge to feel sympathy for you and thus reduce the sentence. In some cases, personal mitigation can be a very blunt tool we brandish to save you from prison – in one case a client blew 175 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 ml of breath (that’s five times over the drink driving limit). The sentencing guidelines are clear that anybody blowing over 120mcgs should go directly to prison. However, we used personal mitigation to show that prison would mean this person was more of a threat to society upon release as nothing would have been done to address her alcohol problems. The magistrates agreed and she remained free with an order that she attend alcohol rehabilitation.

    If you are facing an allegation of drink driving then please feel free to call our resident expert, Nick Diable, today on 01869 866 490 for an expert opinion on your case.