Drink Driving Barrister

Our services provided a dedicated “on call” expert drinking driving barristers services for those seeking specialist lawyers advice, guidance and representation in court for with drink driving and drug driving related offences. We are based in the heart of legal London and operate nationwide:

Drink Driving Charges

     Driving whilst over the prescribed limit
     Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs
     Being charge of a motor vehicle.
     Failing to provide a specimen (breath/ blood/urine).
     Multiple drink driving related offences.
     A Second offence/conviction for drink driving.
     Appeal a drink driving conviction.
     Appeal a drink driving ban or disqualification.

Drink driving is a serious offence and one of the few motoring offences for which you can be sent to prison, have a criminal conviction and face a mandatory driving disqualification. It can also result in losing your job, refusal of car insurance or extremely high premiums, getting the best legal representation is crucial.

Failing To Provide A Specimen

Failing To Provide A Specimen Offences

Drink and Drug Driving Offences

Intoximeter Defences

Breathtest and Intoximeter Defences







Drink driving legislation is complex. We offer clear, comprehensive expert advice in a down to earth easy to understand way. With over 12 years experience in defending motorists in drink driving related offences we forensically analyse your case, paying close attention to detail, give sound honest advice and fearlessly represent you in court.

As barristers, our approach to defending drink driving cases is always rigorous, analytical and forensic,these are some of the common grounds for challenging a drink driving charge:

Was the device used for recording the sample working correctly at the time?

BreathalyserOur expertise and experience means that we can quickly identify any obvious errors in the documentation of drink drive procedure, evidence of printouts and service of analysts certificate to see if the device was operating at the time or if the manufacturer’s guidelines were not followed by the police officer conducting the breath test.

Was the procedure carried out correctly by the police?

Meticulous attention to detail is needed in analysing the intoximeter / breathalyser documentation, the drink driving procedure and the form known as the MGDDA to see that it was completed and conducted properly and lawfully.

Was any evidence illegally or unlawfully obtained by the police?

There is a difference between failing to follow procedure due to incompetence or oversight and where the police have deliberately acted improperly or in “bad faith”. Whilst less common, there are cases where improper police practices occur, where this successfully proved evidence can be ruled inadmissible or a prosecution can be stayed or discontinued.

Was there a medical reason or other reasonable excuse for failing to provide a sample?

Medical FileThere are cases where a person suffering from a medical condition or ailment has good cause (a reasonable excuse) Advice on how to instruct an expert of doctor who would have the expertise in diagnosing the condition.

I had been drinking after driving and not at the time it is alleged the vehicle was being driven.

We have experience in defending case where a defence is raised that alcohol was consumed after the incident. With expert evidence it possible to conduct a “back calculation” (calculating your reading without the alcohol that had been consumed after driving).

I was not driving at the time, but own the vehicle.

Where the alleged driver was not arrested at the time of the offence and the police subsequently arrest and charge (usually the registered keeper of the vehicle) for the offence. The police are still required to prove the identity of the actual driver through means of identification. Without this the case cannot be proved.

I do not accept the police version of what happened.

If the account given by the police is not accepted and has a significant bearing on the case then you are entitled to plead not guilty and challenge the evidence at court. Our barristers have years of experience in cross-examining police officers in both jury trials in the Crown Court and the Magistrates Court.

Drink driving and “special reasons”.

Guilty of drink driving ? There may be “special reasons” not to disqualify you from driving.

Even if you are guilty of an offence of drink-driving they may be mitigating circumstances in which the court finds that there are special reasons to not disqualify you from driving. A special reasons argument or hearing allows a barrister to mitigate to the court that even though you’re guilty of the offence you should receive a lesser punishment.

Special reasons can vary in drink driving and motoring cases. In our experience of mitigating special reasons the courts have found reasons not to disqualify in the following cases.

    • That the drink driving occurred in a genuine emergency situation.
    • Where a person may have been “in charge” of a motor vehicle but did not drive or had no intention to drive.
    • Spiked or laced drinks – That the person who was driving had their drinks spiked.
    • That the drink-driving occurred over a very short distance. The court will consider the actual distance driven, how the car was being driven, the distance the driver intended to drive, the road and weather conditions at the time, the reasons for driving and how likely it was the driver would come into contact with other vehicles on road users.

We have considerable experience in putting forward special reasons in drink driving cases and other motoring offences both in the Magistrate’s Court and in the Crown and persuading courts not to impose a driving disqualification where special reasons are found.

Which lawyer?: A Barrister or Solicitor

The difference in instructing a specialist drink driving barrister – expert advice and the best representation in court. Under a scheme called “Direct Access” members of the public can instruct a barrister directly in drink driving matters. Here are some of the reasons why you may wish to instruct a barrister directly instead of a solicitor or other lawyer:

 The high standards of training and court room advocacy. Barristers are trained court room advocates and are specialists in advocacy

 The majority of motoring cases can be handled by a barrister, and do not require a solicitor, thereby saving costs.

 Early tactical and strategic decisions, having the input of barrister at an early stage can result in negotiating a lesser charge or even discontinuing a prosecution together.

 Case preparation: Having a barrister preparing your case, means nothing is left to chance and that your case is totally prepared by a barrister trial ready for a barrister representing you in court. There is no need for a solicitor or intermediary.

See our Experience: Case Studies and Testimonials of clients defended in drink driving and motoring cases.

Drink Driving Appeals

Were you convicted for drink driving in the Magistrates and want to appeal? A barristers expertise lies in the ability to persuade a Crown Court Judge and two lay justices that a conviction which occurred in the Magistrates Court. We routinely appear in all Crown Courts in England and Wales and have a excellent track record in overturning convictions on appeal.

See our Criminal Barrister Appeals Service Section

For effective and immediate advice from a best lawyers specialising in drink driving cases call our dedicated to 24 hours 7 days a week number on 0208 123 9999 or email info@criminal-barrister.co.uk. and speak to a barrister directly.

Our Guide To Drink Driving

Drink driving charge and legal limits

The legal drink driving limits are:
Breath: 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Blood: 80 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
Urine: microgrammes of alcohol in hundred millilitres of urine

Lower readings, which readings result in a prosecution?

The lower reading will dictate whether further action is taken.

Readings of 50 in blood.

If the specimen with the lower reading does not contain no than 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 mL of breath the driver can argue that it should be replaced by a blood or urine specimen. If he then provides a blood or urine specimen, neither specimen of breath taken earlier can be used.

If the police failed to offer the option of supplying another specimen either blood or urine this will be fatal to any prosecution.

Readings of 39 and under

If two specimens of breath and are taken and the lower reading provided is 39 µg in 100 mL of breath or less proceedings for drink-driving are not usually commenced.

If the device is known to be unreliable at the time then a specimen of blood or urine must be offered.

Where replacement blood or urine specimen has been given, the police cannot use the original breath specimen even if the blood will you ring specimen later declared inadmissible.

Drink Driving

Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle where the amount of alcohol is above the prescribed limit – Road traffic Act 1988, S.5

“Being in charge”

A person can be in charge of a motor-vehicle even though the vehicle is not being driven and was immobile.

Can I still charged for an offence of being in charge if I was not driving the vehicle at the time?

The prosecution to show that you have ” assumed control or intended to assume control of the vehicle preparatory to driving it“. The court will look closely at the following factors.

1 – Whether you were in the vehicle; Where in the vehicle you were or how far from the vehicle were you.

2 – What you were doing at the relevant time.

3 – Whether you were in possession of the key that fitted ignition.

4 – Whether there was any evidence of an intention to take also control of the car by driving or otherwise.

5- Whether any other person was in, at or near the car and, if so, the particulars in respect of that person.


Alcohol consumed after the defendant had been driving, the so-called the hip flask defence.
If raised the endless shifts on to the defendant to prove on the balance of probabilities not only that the reading was wrong but at the relevant time is alcohol level was below the prescribed limit.

Driving, or being in charge, when under the influence of drugs.

Road Traffic Act 1988, section 4

If a police officer suspects that a motorist has taken drugs, a drug test procedure is carried out at the roadside. A specimen of saliva or sweat is taken to establish whether the person has a taken a drug through means of a drug test device.

The definition of drugs is wide and includes any intoxicant other than alcohol. This does not necessarily mean that this charge only applies to banned, prohibited, or illegal drugs.

For example medicines can be considered drugs for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act for example, prescribed medications such as insulin if they impair the ability to drive when taken.

Evidence that the driver is impaired whilst under the influence of a drug.

The prosecution can rely on the opinion evidence of an expert, normally a doctor who has examined a defender as to whether he is impaired because of drug use. However the prosecution can also rely on non-expert evidence to establish that the defendant is impaired to drive, provided that all of the evidence is sufficient to justify impairment before a magistrate.

For example:

  • The Defendant’s physical state.
  • Any admissions made to police officers about the consumption of drugs.
  • The defendant being observed in a preliminary impairment test.


Drink Driving Punishment – Driving or Attempting to drive


  • For offences of driving or attempting to drive the maximum penalty is six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to level five on the standard scale.Endorsements and disqualification for one year is mandatory unless there are special reasons.
  • The offence otherwise attracts between three and 11 penalty points.
    If the offence is charged as being in charge, this carries a maximum penalty of three months imprisonment and/all a fine of up to level four. A disqualification is discretionary that endorsement with 10 penalty points is mandatory.
  • The Magistrate’s Court Sentencing Guidelines have to be followed the guidelines explain how to assess the offence for seriousness with reference to aggravating and mitigating factors.

The insurance cost of a drink-driving conviction

A drink-driving conviction can result in no insurance being offered by many insurance providers and an increase in insurance premiums of up to 121%.

Research commissioned by Money Supermarket revealed that a 50-year-old could see a rise in their annual car insurance premium about 121%, with younger drivers facing a insurance hike of 53%.

This is in addition to, a 12 month driving ban a criminal conviction and even a sentence of imprisonment.
read more…

Motoring case studies

For real case studies and testimonials of drivers we have successfully defended and represented.Click here.

For the expert advice and representation by a specialist drink driving lawyer and barrister call our 24/7 service on 0208 123 9999 or email info@criminal-barrister.co.uk.

Drink driving latest blog and news updates

Teenage drink driving still on the rise     Posted on October 9, 2014

Many still drink drinking, reports Cambridgeshire Police     Posted on August 7, 2014

Guy Pelley, a close friend of the Duke of Cambridge guilty of drink driving     Posted on July 30, 2014

Stop drink drivers through a text scheme will it work?     Posted on June 10, 2014

The insurance cost of a drink driving offence     Posted on March 24, 2014

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