Well, we’re Drink Driving Barristers and can help you right now!
If you’ve been charged with a drink driving offence then you must act QUICKLY. The police will have arranged the earliest possible court hearing – THEREFORE TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, AND TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE!
Remember a drink driving conviction will have major repercussions for you, your family and working life: a very high reading could lead to imprisonment.
How will you survive a 12 month + driving ban, because that is what you face if found guilty?
Help is at hand, but you need to make that first call – for a first consultation – which will not cost you a penny!
My task, if you then choose to use me, is to obtain the best possible outcome for you in a difficult and frightening situation!
I’ll do my best to help you avoid a drink driving ban
This involves, by way of example:
- Checking police procedures – if they’ve fouled up, then that could be the end of the case!
- Checking the calibration of the breath machine – if it wasn’t operated properly, then that could be the end of the case!
- Checking each and every element of the charge you face – if something has been missed, then that could be the end of the case!
- Checking if there was some interfering substance in the breath sample – if there was then that could be the end of the case!
- Checking if you have a specific defence – if you have then that could be the end of the case!
There are 2 offences: (i) driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst being unfit to drive & (ii) driving or being in charge whilst over the drink driving limit.
1. DRIVING WHILST UNFIT
Though this offence was created by old road traffic legislation, Parliament decided to include it in the Road Traffic Act 1988 despite the fact that, by then, advances in technology allowed accurate measurements to be made of alcohol in a person’s breath. Thus we now have two separate offences dealing with largely the same type of situation.
The offence will normally be charged where, for whatever reason, the prosecution cannot bring specific evidence of excess alcohol in breath, blood or urine. As the police will normally have such evidence, then – as you will appreciate – this offence is less frequently charged than that of driving or being in charge whilst over the drink driving limit.
The evidence against you will normally concern your drinking pattern prior to driving (say from people in a pub’ who saw you leave and get into your car) and your later manner of driving. If, say, you fled the scene of a road traffic accident before the police arrived (which you should never ever do) then the testimony of people at the scene of the accident concerning your demeanour and whether or not they smelt alcohol on your breath will all be relied upon by the prosecution.
If proven against, or if you plead guilty, then you could be imprisoned for up to 6 months; will be disqualified for at least 12 months (36 months if you have committed a similar such offence within the previous 10 years) and may be fined up to £5000.
This allegation is frequently successfully defended. The evidence is rarely as clear as that of driving with excess alcohol, and there is usually much room for argument. In my experience, the chance of an acquittal is higher than for offence 2. below.
2. DRIVING OR BEING IN CHARGE OVER THE DRINK DRIVING LIMIT
If you fail the roadside breath test then you will be arrested and taken to the police station where, after booking in, you will be asked to provide 2 specimens of breath on the intoximeter or other such machines. The legal limit in breath is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres, but the police charge if you blow 40 or over.
If the machine is unavailable, for whatever reason, then the police may demand an alternative sample of blood or urine.
If you plead guilty or are found guilty, then you will be banned for a minimum of 12 months (36 months if you have committed a similar such offence within the previous 10 years); be fined up to £5000 and/or may be imprisoned for up to 6 months.
This legislation cuts through centuries of English and Welsh law, in that it forces a suspect to provide evidence (i.e. a sample of breath, blood or urine) against himself/herself. However, because of this infringement of basic legal rights by Parliament, the higher courts rigorously guard against any abuse of the system. Thus if the police do not follow procedures correctly then prosecutions can be thrown out.
There have been a massive number of decided cases, concerning this offence, over the years and the police, in an attempt to make themselves “flameproof”, have produced a form which they should follow to the letter when carrying out the breath, blood or urine test, to attempt to prove their case. However, mistakes are made and these can lead to an acquittal. The important point to remember is that, unless you ask an experienced lawyer to look at the evidence, you might never discover that you had a defence to the allegation. The police and the CPS are unlikely to tell you because, due to the pressures they are under, they may well simply have not had the time to consider the point.
Choosing a Lawyer
Some common sense observations may help
“Look at our success rates – read our statistics!”
QUESTION?You know what some say about statistics! Don’t just accept the hype! It’s your money - you have a right to know.
- How many clients pleaded guilty?
- Did the prosecution witnesses turn up for the trial?
- Was the prosecution case weak?
“We use specialist barristers!”
QUESTION?If the solicitors are “road traffic specialists”, why the need (with your money), to use a “specialist barrister” anyway? You pay for both barrister and solicitor! With Julian Harris there is just his fee: and you have the benefit of his 30 years experience. Your saving could be considerable!
“We offer direct personal contact!”
QUESTION?Does the solicitor give such guarantee or will you find yourself dealing with his secretary or some junior lawyer? Julian Harris deals with your case, from start to finish. You deal only with him - nobody else!
“We deal with your case from start to finish!”
QUESTION?Is the solicitor qualified to represent you in the Crown Court if you appeal?
“Read our testimonials!”
COMMENT:These are what you really need to study: real comments written by real client’s. Read what satisfied client’s have said about Julian Harris –
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