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Drink Driving Allegation With a Breath Test

Drink Driving Breath Test Defence


If you are charged with drink driving then it is important you seek advice at the earliest opportunity. Not only could this make a huge different to the end result in your case but, you will hopefully find that it puts some of your concerns to rest and makes you feel better about the position you have found yourself in.


Despite what you may think about this offence- providing a positive sample does not always mean that you are guilty.


We provide free initial telephone advice and would be happy to help so please contact us on 020 7923 4020 to discuss.


You must be confident in your representation and if our statistics are not enough to convince you of our expertise, we invite you to review our web pages, client testimonials and case studies.


You may have been charged with this offence because you have provided a positive breath test at the police station. This is called the “evidential breath sample” and is the evidence that will be used against you to try to prove that you were over the prescribed limit.


Most motorists who approach us assume that they have only one option – to plead guilty. It is understandable to assume that you must be guilty if you have provided a positive test however this is not always the case. As specialists in motor law, there are a number of unique strategies and techniques that enable us to successfully defend you and we urge you to contact us so we can explain your options in detail. Being charged with this offence can be an intimidating process and we want you to be able to make informed decisions on how best to proceed with your case.


What makes us different from the rest?


When we are instructed in a case, there are a number of avenues that we scrutinise which include but are not limited to:


  • What procedure did the police conduct with you whilst in custody? It is a strict and rigid procedure that the officers must follow and certain breaches are serious enough to result n you being found not guilty of the charge.
  • There are 3 different evidential breathalysers used across England & Wales and each one is slightly different in its operation and effectiveness. Our motor law specialist has worked with the leading experts in this field since 2007 and is aware of various challenges against the reliability of these devices. They are not infallible and, like any other piece of electrical equipment are prone to fault/malfunction.
  • For the prosecution to secure a conviction, they must be able to prove that you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt and the results from the breath test are just one aspect of the case against you. Is the rest of the evidence strong enough to convince the court of your guilt? Many non-specialist lawyers are unaware of the technical defences that may exist in a case and we are confident that if you do have a defence, we will be able to find it.
  • The Prosecution have certain obligations that they must satisfy when preparing a case and we often see instances where they fail to do this. It is one of your basic legal rights to have the benefit of a fair trial and we have successfully argued that failings of the Prosecution prevent you from enjoying this right which results in the case against you being dismissed.
  • Whether special reasons apply


A non-motor law specialist would (in most cases) not know the various possible defences that may be available and advise you to plead guilty. This is why we would strongly recommend contacting us on 020 7923 4020 even if you have spoken to non-specialists to ensure you get the most accurate advice.


The Breathalyser Devices

If you were given a copy of the breath-test printout (which is similar to a receipt) at the police station then you can identify the type of machine used as its name will be at the very top. Regardless of the device it is important to remember that despite the manufacturer claims they are not infallible and, like any other piece of electrical equipment they can experience faults and malfunctions


There are three breath-test devices used through England and Wales and these are as follows:


The Lion Intoxilyser


Developed by Lion Laboratories with premises in South Wales and USA; Lion are probably the largest distributor of breathalysers to police stations. Their main evidential machine is called the Lion Intoxilyser 6000 UK. This device is primarily used in the North of England and Wales but there are some police stations further south that also utilise it however these are sparse.


The EC/IR Intoximeter


Intoximeters, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri USA with a second office in Totnes, Devon UK. Intoximeters produces and markets a full line of alcohol breath testing instruments and if you are based in the lower half of England (roughly South of Birmingham) then it is likely you have been tested on this device and its printout is a long thin receipt-like piece of paper


The CAMIC Datamaster


The Datamaster is produced by CAMIC (Car and Medical Instruments Company) and is installed in sporadic locations across England and Wales. Despite the north primarily using Lion and the South, Intoximeter, the CAMIC manages to pop up in a few locations nationwide. Its printout is larger than the others but its name will be printed clearly across the top


Potential Penalties and Consequences


Drink driving is one of the more serious offences and the courts have little discretion and must impose a minimum disqualification period of 12 months. In more serious cases where there is a high breath reading or you are a repeat offender, then disqualifications can be as long as 5 years and you may also be at risk of a prison sentence or community order. You can find out more about the factors that the court consider when imposing penalties here.


There is also a Level 5 fine attached to this offence which means an unlimited fine can be imposed


A drink driving conviction will go onto your record as a criminal one but there are more far reaching consequences that are not immediately apparent such as:


  • A negative impact upon your chosen career or employment
  • Adverse effect upon your freedom to travel to certain countries
  • Significantly increase the costs of your vehicle insurance for at least the next 4 years
  • The social stigma attached to those who are ultimately convicted of drink driving.


Let Us Help You


Of all motoring offences, drink driving is one of the more serious and carries significant penalties upon conviction. If you are dependent upon your licence then a lengthy driving ban may be a daunting prospect with long term ramifications. Our lawyers understand the consequences this type of conviction can have and help motorists save their licence on a daily basis. We are here to listen and understand your case without judgement.


We would recommend writing down everything you remember about the day/night in question and include as much detail as you can. Smaller details that may first appear minor can often have a significant impact on a case and how it is prepared so ensure that you cover your movements on the day, what you had to drink and at what times and also as much as you can remember about what happened from the moment the police became involved and what they said to you.


How Much Does it Cost


The costs of representation will largely depend upon whether you decide to plead guilty or not guilty.


Your first court date will be when you must attend and confirm whether you are pleading “guilty” or “not guilty”.


If you plead guilty to the charge then in most cases only one hearing is required and we can agree a fixed fee. If you plead not guilty, then it may be several months before your trial date and the fees incurred will be influenced by:


  • How complex the case is; and
  • The number of hearings involved/duration of the proceedings


For more detail about the fee structure and payment options contact us on 020 7923 4020 to discuss your case in more detail.


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