Solicitors for Drink Driving Offences

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Drink Driving Offences Solicitors Manchester & Stockport


Our Drink Driving Solicitors have specialist experience defending all types of drink driving offences.

If you are facing allegations of drink driving then contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options and to speak to one of our motoring law specialists. We can offer you legal advice, support and guidance.

In the event that you are facing allegations of drink driving, engaging the services of Clifford Johnston and Co. offers you the best chance of securing a positive outcome. Our credentials speak for themselves, having seen us shortlisted as finalists for Crime Team of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards in both 2019 and 2020.

We have a decades-long, proven track record in defending clients before the court in relation to motoring offences, including driving while under the influence of alcohol.


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What is Drink Driving?

Drink driving is defined as ‘Driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in a person’s breath exceeds the prescribed limit”.

It is one of the most common driving offences, with almost half a million total convictions since 2010. With an average of over 40,000 drivers being convicted of drink driving every year, this number has only decreased following the Covid crisis in 2020.

Many circumstances may lead to a false conviction, or one that is more severe than necessary. If you have been accused of drink driving, and would like expert legal advice and representation to fight this claim, contact our Drink Driving Solicitors today.

What is the alcohol limit for driving?

The legal drink driving alcohol limit in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is 35 milligrams per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of blood and/or 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of urine.This is more or less in line with other countries, although many European governments have enacted stricter laws regarding alcohol limits.

What defences are possible for drink driving allegations?

An accusation of drink driving can be daunting, especially because of the severe penalties and stigma that are associated with these offences. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, however, there are a number of arguments that expert Drink Driving Solicitors may move forward for you. These may fully invalidate the claims, or lead to less harsh sentences for the accused.

Common driving driving defence arguments include:

  • That you were not driving.
  • That you had consumed alcohol after you had stopped driving, otherwise known as the Hip Flask Defence.
  • That you were not over the limit and that the police failed to follow correct procedures.
  • Unreliability of samples.

It should also be noted that sentences may be reduced if the driver accused of drink driving pleads guilty of the offence.

Being accused of driving under the influence does not have to mean harsh sentences or driving bans. With the support of Drink Driving Solicitors with years of experience in the field, you can reach an outcome you are satisfied with. We have successfully defended countless drink driving charges, or obtained minor penalties for drivers who were unjustly facing harsh sentences. Contact Clifford Johnston & Co today.

What are Special Reasons Arguments for drink driving?

The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 states that where a person is convicted of an offence involving obligatory disqualification, the court must order him to be disqualified for such period not less than twelve months as the court thinks fit unless the court for Special Reasons thinks fit to order him to be disqualified for a shorter period or not to order him to be disqualified.

The concept of Special Reasons allows a Court, in appropriate circumstances, to reduce or cancel the normal consequences of a driving conviction. When they are established in court, a convicted motorist may, for example, avoid a disqualification for drink driving as well as avoiding penalty points for driving without insurance, speeding and a range of other offences.

Examples of Special Reasons to defend a drink driving offence include:

  • Your drinks were laced without your knowledge and you didn’t realise that you were over the legal limit.
  • You had to drive because it was an emergency and you had no other choice.
  • You drove for a very short distance and in circumstances where you were unlikely to be brought into contact with other road users.

It should be noted that these defences are rarely used, and only apply to very specific circumstances. If you believe your drink driving defence could benefit from a Special Reasons Argument, contact our specialist Drink Driving Solicitors today for an assessment of your case.

What are the penalties for drink driving?

There are many factors that play into the final alcohol level in the blood. It is not simply dictated by the amount of alcohol an individual has consumed, but also their height and weight. The alcohol content of the specimen is also not the only factor into the severity of the sentencing, which will be based upon the Sentencing Guidelines. These take into account aggravating and mitigating factors for each case.

The minimum disqualification for drink driving is a 12 months driving ban.  It can also attract up to 6 months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.   A Court must disqualify for at least 3 years if an offender has been convicted of a relevant offence in the preceding 10 years.

Because of the severity of the penalties, it is vital to seek expert legal advice to avoid fines, drink driving bans, or even imprisonment.

For more detailed information about the penalty you can expect to receive, speak to one of Drink Driving Lawyers.

What are some aggravating factors in a drink driving case?

The sentencing for drink driving offences is worked out based on the alcohol level in a sample – whether this is breath, blood, or urine. While some defences and Special Reasons may apply to specific cases, there are also some factors which may aggravate the sentences faced by a convicted driver. These include:

  • Recent, relevant, or any previous convictions
  • The driver in charge of the vehicle was carrying passenger
  • The standard of driving was unacceptable
  • The driver caused or was involved in an accident while over the limit
  • The offence took place in an area with high levels of traffic or pedestrians

Any aggravating factors for drink driving offences must be meticulously analysed before an adjustment can be made to the sentencing of a driver. Courts may consider these factors if they are thoroughly proven, and you may be able to defend yourself from a harsher sentence with the help of expert Drink Driving Solicitors.

Do I have to provide a specimen for a roadside alcohol test?

Drink driving is a unique type of offence when it comes to evidence collection, as it is rare for the accused to be required to provide self-incriminating evidence. If you are stopped by the police on the road and asked to take a breathalyser test, it is likely you will be legally obligated to provide a sample. The Road Traffic Act 1988 outlines this obligation, stating that failing to provide a specimen when requested is a criminal offence. However, a very strict process must be followed in order for this requirement to be fully applicable. In order for a constable to require a test, the following criteria must be followed:

  • The police has reason to believe the driver has been drinking
  • The driver has committed a traffic offence
  • The vehicle has been involved in a traffic accident

When requesting a sample, the officer must also:

  • Be in uniform at the time of the request
  • Inform you of the request and the consequences of failing to provide a specimen
  • Complete a MGDD document

In some cases, you may be required to take a blood or urine test at the police station, administered by a police doctor or nurse. These tests are also subject to strict requirements, and procedural errors are common.

If you believe your breath, urine, or blood test has been administered incorrectly, or you have not been notified of your options, our Drink Driving Solicitors may be able to build a strong defence for your case. Contact us today.

Impact of a drink driving conviction

In addition to a criminal conviction and the subsequent penalties including driving bans, significant fines and custodial sentences, the additional consequences of being found guilty of drink driving are severe.

You could potentially lose your job and your livelihood, your insurance premiums may increase and your ability to travel freely may be restricted.

Funding your Drink Driving Defence

Don’t let financial concerns deter you from seeking the legal assistance you need. Here at Clifford Johnston & Co., we extend our expertise to all clients, regardless of their choice between publicly funded or privately funded legal defence. We strongly believe in equal access to justice.

Concerned about the cost? You may be eligible for legal aid, and our dedicated team is here to help. We’ll assess your eligibility and guide you through the legal aid application process, ensuring you have the support you require for your defence.

Why Choose us?

Providing leading defence and mitigation services to motorists across Stockport and Manchester, our criminal law solicitors regularly help clients avoid disqualification and a conviction. We will provide clear, honest advice and we will work diligently to defend you.

Our Solicitors in Stockport will look at the individual circumstances surrounding your arrest including whether the police conducted their procedures correctly. We will meticulously consider and analyse the evidence against you.

Clifford Johnston and Co has a team of Drink Driving Solicitors with specialist experience defending drink driving offences. Our expertise in criminal law is supported by our outstanding results and accreditations, including the Law Society accreditation for criminal litigation, and multiple nominations as Crime Team Of The Year.

For affordable and cost-effective legal advice in Stockport and Manchester, contact the Driving Offence Solicitors at Clifford Johnston & Co.

Need some professional advice?

Do you have any issues that you are worried about? Contact our professional team for a free, no-obligation informal discussion, where we can discuss your particular requirements in greater detail.

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