Drink Driving Charges in London

London is a mega-city notorious for the density of its traffic. It follows that drink driving charges are common: more drivers more offences – it’s that simple! Fact: every year thousands of motorists in London are prosecuted for a drink driving charge. Are you one of them?

If you need a drink driving/DUI solicitor in London, then why not consider going straight to a barrister specialist, offering 33 years courtroom experience, both as a former prosecutor (19+ years) and professional defence lawyer (having advocated in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Crown and Magistrates’ Courts), who brings passion to the work and equal commitment to obtaining the best
possible result for you, the client.

“Your preparation for and work in
court was fantastic . . you have my
highest recommendation.”
Staines Court.

Why not call today for a few minutes free initial legal help with your drink driving case, (plus your personalised drink driving penalty and disqualification calculator). A first call costs you nothing and may be the difference between a drink driving disqualification and being found “Not Guilty” as charged!

Time is critical: the police will have arranged the earliest possible court date (which you must attend). This is not a criticism of the police; as far as they are concerned you are guilty of a drink driving charge and should be off the road ASAP. But that haste can work to your advantage as it may have led to shoddy police work and possible “loophole defence”!

The question is can the police prove that you were guilty of that drink driving charge, or is there a defence which will scupper the case and lead to your acquittal (or “discontinuance” of the charge by the Crown Prosecution Service)? So pick up that ‘phone and call. Time is slipping away fast and, if you’ve never been in trouble before, then sympathetic and realistic advice is what you urgently require. Call now for those vital few minutes of initial free legal advice – what do you have to lose?

The Effects of a Drink Driving Conviction

If you suffer a drink driving conviction there will be major repercussions for you, your family and your working life. Such a conviction can be truly a life-changing and cataclysmic event for any person. If you are caught drink driving in London and convicted then you will face a minimum 12 driving ban; it could easily be a lot more. Potentially you could be imprisoned for up to six months depending upon your character (i.e. possible previous similar convictions), the nature of the allegation (e.g. a very high reading) and surrounding circumstances (e.g. a bad road traffic accident causing injury to others, etc.,).

“The court at Stratford kicked it out
when you pointed out that the
police had messed the procedure
up. I’m a free man – no ban – no
fine and I got my costs.”
Stratford (East London) Court

What can be Done to Help?

First, it important to remember that any drink driving offence may be charged in two different ways; though rarely, if ever, for the same set of circumstances. The old offence, charged before the advent of evidential breath test machines or EBTM (presently the Camic Datamaster, Intoximeter EC/IR & Lion Intoxylizer 6000UK ) was know as, and still is known as, “driving whilst unfit”. This offence may still be charged where, for whatever reason, there is no evidence from, say, an EBTM. The important point is that it is the fitness or otherwise to drive, of the suspect which is the crucial factor.

Therein “lies the wrinkle” because, though we all hope that a police officer or other witness will be objective, many clients instruct that the observations of those witnesses are incorrect and that he/she was perfectly fit to drive. The new offence, and now the most commonly charged offence – where reliance is usually placed on evidence from an EBTM – is known as driving whilst over the limit. However, the evidence of a drivers alcohol level may also be provided following an analysis of his/her blood or urine. The important point is that the analysis of the specimen (breath, blood or urine) is the crucial consideration.

Let’s deal first with driving whilst over the limit.

(i) Driving Whilst over the Limit
If you are pulled over in London and fail a roadside breath test, or fail to cooperate with that test, then you will be arrested and taken to the nearest police station which has a working EBTM. Generally speaking, particularly if the police believe that you may be just over the legal limit, then they will want to get you to the station ASAP. The reason for this is obvious: if you are close to the legal limit then, if the police take their time, you may be just under the limit by the time you provide a breath specimen on the EBTM. Remember also, the roadside test is not an evidential test but simply a screening test, which if you fail, will lead to your arrest but not necessarily conviction: for that the police need the evidence from the EBTM or blood or urine analysis.

At the station you will normally be required to provide two samples of breath on the EBTM (NB: The City of London Police use the Camic Datamaster and The Met’ the Intoximeter EC/IR). The legal limit is 35 in breath but the police only charge if you blow 40 or over (the offence charged will be contrary to section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988).

If there is no EBTM available (it may have broken down or for some other reason), or if the police think that there may be some other problem with the machines function, then they will require an alternative sample from you, usually blood, though sometimes urine. If they do move to an alternative sample then that can lead to yet further difficulties and legal complexity for the police and prosecution.

The following, non-exhaustive list, gives examples of the sort of things which needs to be examined, if you are going to stand any chance of fighting the allegation, and possibly putting forward a “loophole defence”. The following should be checked:

1. Police procedures – if they’ve fouled up then that could be the end of the case;

2. The training and skill of the officer carrying out the check – if such ability is lacking, and leads to a mistake, then that may be the end of the case;

3. The operation and calibration of the machine – if it wasn’t operated correctly or not properly calibrated, then that could be the end of the case;

4. Interfering substance – if there was some interfering substance (mouth alcohol, reflux of contents from your stomach, etc.,) then that may be the end of the case;

5. Each and every element of the charge you face – if something has been missed then that could be the end of the case;

6. If you have a specific defence – for instance you believed that you were escaping an imminent threat, etc., then that could be the end of the case;

7. Whether or not the police acted fairly – if they didn’t and if they acted with what is called “mala fides”, then that could be the end of the case &

8. Whether or not the prosecution have made full disclosure of all relevant material and evidence – if they haven’t then that could be the end of the case.

It must be stressed that the above is by no means an exhaustive list of the things which could go wrong with the police case. The factual details of any drink driving case – contrary to popular belief – vary enormously, one case to another. What remains the same is that every client requires, and has a right to expect, from any drink driving/DUI solicitor or barrister, an eagerness to examine every aspect of the prosecution case, searching for the gaps and that possible “loophole defence”.

That lawyer needs to approach the problem with an open mind, thinking “outside the box” and not simply “pleading the matter off” with a blinkered acceptance of the police/CPS case.

(ii) Driving Whilst Unfit
This offence (contrary to section 4 of the Road Traffic act 1988) can also apply, not only to alcohol but also drugs. However, on this page of this site, alcohol only will be considered.

Because there is no evidence of analysis, as is the case with driving with excess alcohol (see (i) above), the evidence relied upon by the police and CPS will be far more subjective and, therefore, capable of challenge.

The prosecution must prove that you were driving a “mechanically propelled vehicle” on “a road or other public place” whilst “unfit to drive through drink”. It follows that if you were unfit for some other reason (e.g. fatigue, head injury, concussion, etc.,) but perhaps you had consumed, say, a single drink, then clearly your unfitness to drive might mistakenly be thought, by the police, to be as a consequence of excessive alcohol consumption, when they smell alcohol on your breath. However, this would clearly be incorrect and you should in those circumstances, if your defence is properly prepared and presented, be acquitted of driving whilst unfit. However, therein “lies the rub” particularly as we now all know that sometimes miscarriages of justice take place!

Therefore, impeccable preparation and robust advocacy is the key to defending such charges in London or elsewhere. Of course – and as ever – your drink driving solicitor or barrister will proceed on your instructions, confident that what he/she is being told is stated with complete integrity.

How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket

Are you looking to get out of a speeding ticket? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I am Julian Harris, a Barrister for over 25 years. I specialise in speeding tickets and road traffic court defence, helping you with your case. If you’ve been issued a speeding ticket and you are looking to get out of paying it, here at the Speeding Barrister I can help!

Have you ever noticed how celebrities commonly get out of paying speeding tickets completely? Well, you don’t have to be rich or famous to appeal a speeding or parking fine successfully. That’s why, here at the Speeding Barrister, whether you’re guilty of speeding or not, it’s best to investigate all legal options before you pay the fine. The Speeding Barrister is here to help you with any issues you have regarding a speeding ticket.

How Speeding is Caught

The police have a variety of techniques in place to catch people speeding on the roads, including speed cameras (fixed or mobile), laser guns, following speed checks, radar guns and so much more! In fact, there are now around 50 variants of speed recording equipment in use on the UK’s roads. That’s a vast number of devices all designed to catch people speeding. However, the complexity of equipment, variables in accuracy and more can work to your advantage.

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket

At the Speeding Barrister, we are here to fight for you. When it comes to speeding tickets, we are the experts. If you are stressed, worried or concerned about having a speeding ticket and you’re unsure what to do, look no further than the Speeding Barrister, we will be with you every step of the way.
It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that, just because the police have a photograph of you speeding, it’s an open and shut case; but this is simply not true. Every case can be fought and that’s what we do, we fight for you.

How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket in Court

Did you know that just because a police officer says you were speeding it’s not enough to prove guilt? The police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will drop a case if an error arises or is brought to their attention. At the Speeding Barrister, we can often find a loophole to bring to the attention of the police and have the case dropped, if they are unable to answer the defence. Here at the Speeding Barrister, we actively search out loopholes for you so that you can successfully get out of a speeding ticket in court.

With the Speeding Barrister on your case, there is no need to worry. We actively search out relevant loopholes and have the knowledge and experience to handle your case with complete professionalism.

Consequences of a Speeding Ticket

The consequences of a speeding ticket don’t just stop at you paying the fine, often you face the prospect of having points added to your licence and a rise in your car insurance payments as a result. Nobody wants that! That’s why, before you pay the price, it is wise to consult the Speeding Barrister to discuss your case. There are all sorts of things that can be argued and evidence that can be found to support your case but, unless you challenge your speeding ticket, you will never find out.

Areas We Serve

At the Speeding Barrister, although we are based in Birmingham, we serve customers throughout England and Wales and will defend you in any motoring prosecution you may face. I, Julian Harris, am an extremely experienced lawyer who will deal solely with your case on a one-to-one basis to defend any speeding ticket allegation you may face. If you need help to get out of a speeding ticket, get in touch today, I am here to help.

The Speeding Barrister Service Plan:

  • Low overheads mean lower costs for you
  • Coverage throughout England and Wales
  • Free initial advice
  • We are available 7 days a week – 8am till 8pm
  • Direct and continuing personal contact
  • Fixed fee and no hidden costs

Call Us Today

The Speeding Barrister is here to help with any issues you have regarding a speeding ticket, fine or prosecution. If you have been issued with a speeding ticket, don’t pay it straight away as you may be able to fight your case. Before you do anything, contact the Speeding Barrister, we would like to help you with your situation. So, what are you waiting for? Call us today!

The £50,000 Pint – A Sobering Thought!

The Times recently reported that, following the first rise in road injuries caused by drinking and driving in over 10 years, the Government is going on the offensive against those who drive over the limit. In support of this the Department of Transport has published figures demonstrating that, for the average person, the cost of conviction for a first-time offence is between £20,000 and £50,800. (more…)

Tower Bridge (SPECS) Acquittal

As those who use it frequently may know (particularly if they’ve ever been “done”) the speed limit on Tower Bridge is 20 mph and the system the police use to enforce that limit is the apparently foolproof, SPECS speed detection device. This system is, in some ways, just a glorified but far more expensive Gatso device; at least as far as the secondary evidence part of the Gatso system is concerned – i.e. this is a time over distance = speed, detection device.  (more…)

The £2.7 Million Traffic Camera!

BBC News ran a TV report concerning the most profitable (for the authorities!) traffic camera in the UK. The camera is at a junction of the Kings Road in West London and is operated by Hammersmith & Fulham Council. Last year this “golden camera” earned the Borough a staggering £2.7 million in fines for drivers allegedly caught jumping red lights; with individual fines up to £130 per offence.  (more…)

Reduction of Driving Disqualification on Appeal

If you have just received a “totting” disqualification, having clocked up 12 or more penalty points, then the last thing you probably want to experience are more court proceedings and more lawyers! However, providing you do it within 21 days, then you have an automatic right of appeal to a Crown Court Judge sitting with two JP’s; who will have had no dealings with the matter in the Magistrates’ Court. (more…)

Stop Delaying Justice

Quite properly the courts have always been keen that speeding ticket and other motoring cases should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Now, however, as a result of an initiative called Stop Delaying Justice, Magistrates’ are becoming increasingly reluctant to grant any form of adjournment. The idea is that cases should be dealt with at the first hearing or, if there is to be a trial, then at that second hearing i.e. by acquittal or guilty verdict and sentence. (more…)

CPS Mistake Leads to Acquittal at 101 mph!

Salisbury Magistrates’ Court was a happy venue for my client who was due to face trial having picked up a speeding ticket for allegedly doing 101 mph in his BMW on the A303. The case had been set down for trial over two months previously and everything required to be done by the defence had been done. The same could not be said of the CPS!  (more…)

Prosecution Service Blunders Lead to Acquittals!

“Court case blunders are blamed on Crown Prosecutors” reported The Times recently. The CPS Inspectorate, which spends its time checking the competence of the CPS, found that mistakes were being made in 7% of cases. Of the 900,000 cases taken to the Crown Court every year , 63,000 should never have been brought or were wrongly dropped.  (more…)