Drink Driving

Drink Driving – Offence codes: DR10/DR20/DR30/DR40/DR50/DR60/DR70


If you have been charged with an allegation of drink driving, then you will be looking for two things. Firstly, you will need down to earth but expert legal advice on the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and on how you might avoid a conviction and/or a disqualification from driving. The second thing you will be searching for will be specialist representation to put your defence or ‘special reasons’ argument as effectively as possible, or to mitigate on your behalf to reduce the severity of the penalty.


Drink Driving Limit

The drink driving limit is 35 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath. If you are subject to a breath test which results in a figure above this limit, then you will be prosecuted. If the reading is less than 50, then you are likely to be offered a test procedure using blood or urine specimen.

A conviction for a drink driving related offence such as ‘driving with an excess of alcohol’ in your system, or ‘being drunk in charge’, is a worrying prospect, particularly if you need your driving licence for work. A conviction will often lead to a driving ban, dismissal from employment, and a loss of reputation. We are therefore often asked whether there is a defences to this sort of allegation. A defence might involve you making the proposition that: 

  • You were not driving at the time of the alleged offence
  • You were driving at the time of the alleged drink driving offence, but not on a road or in a public place (in which case the drink driving laws would not apply to you)
  • The level of alcohol in your system would not have been above the limit but for alcohol that you had drink after the alleged driving (this is often referred to as the ‘hip flask’ defence)
  • The police’s evidence as to the level of your intoxication is not reliable or admissible.

We specialise in presenting what is often described as the ‘hip flask’ defence. We will arrange for a forensic scientist to prepare a report to show that, but for the post driving consumption of alcohol, you would not have been over the prescribed limit for alcohol. We will advise you thoroughly, and pursue all available avenues on your behalf to defeat the allegation of drink driving.

Although a disqualification from driving is usually mandatory following a conviction for drink driving, it is sometimes possible to argue ‘special reasons’. If you can successfully argue ‘special reasons’, then it allows the Court a discretion as to whether to impose a driving ban. For further information about ‘special reasons, please click.


We’ve tackled many drink driving cases before. Click here to find out more about our great results.


A good ‘special reasons’ arguments can include the following:

  • That you were driving for only a short distance, and that you were unlikely to present a risk to other road users or pedestrians;
  • That you were driving only because it was an emergency situation and that consequently you had no choice but to drive
  • Your drinks were laced without you knowing about it, and that you were unaware that your were unfit to drive due to alcohol

The sentence will depend upon the seriousness of the offence i.e. the manner of driving, and the amount by which you have exceeded the legal limit. Where you have exceeded three times the legal limit for alcohol, then a sentence of imprisonment becomes a possibility, depending upon your history.




You may also be aware that due to recent changes to the law on drink driving in Scotland, the limits for drink driving north of the border are considerably lower than in England and Wales. If you run a company which employs drivers to operate in both Scotland and Wales, you will need to be particularly careful to advise your employees about this risk.

Richard Wood manages to avoid disqualification from driving in a large proportion of cases. Click here to secure a free, no obligation initial consultation.



“I was very satisfied with the service I received. Richard alleviated the stress and worry that I was feeling before the case by answering all my questions on the matter and informing me of the possible outcomes of the case. I was also impressed by the knowledge and experience Richard brought to my case. I am pleased with the professional manner Richard displayed in court and how he presented my case to the court. I would highly recommend contacting Richard to anybody with a motoring offence.”

THOMAS WALSH – Drink Driving


For more testimonials click here.


Case Studies on: Drink Driving and Failing To Report An Accident, Crack Down On Drink Driving Over The Summer Months.


If you need further details call: 0800 0126039 or fill out an enquiry form.