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police station if required
across the uk
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What is the offence?
It is an offence for a person to be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion in a person’s breath, blood, urine exceeds the prescribed limit.
Whether you were in charge of a vehicle will depend on the facts of the case. There is a lot of law surrounding this area and the court will take into account a number of factors.
These are just a few examples. Be aware that if you decide to sleep in your car after you have had something to drink and you are found by the police you could find yourself in difficulty.
Breath - maximum amount – 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
Blood - maximum amount - 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
Urine – maximum amount - 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine
What is the procedure?
The police can request a roadside breath test from you if they have reasonable grounds to suspect you are in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place. If this is positive, you will be taken to the police station and asked to give two further evidential specimens of breath. If the readings are over 50 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath you may be charged. If one of the readings is 50 micrograms or under you are entitled to be offered the opportunity to replace the specimen with either blood or urine.
There are strict procedures to be followed when any of the samples are taken and if they are not followed you may have a defence.
What is the penalty?
The minimum penalty for the offence of drunk in charge is a fine and 10 points on your licence.
The maximum is a disqualification and 3 months in prison.
Remember that this type of an offence is not an obligatory disqualification – it is possible to put forward an argument to the court to avoid a disqualification. Please contact us to discuss your case.
Are there any defences?
These are a few examples of defences and many of them are complex. It may also be possible to argue special reasons (link) to save your licence. It may be that your drink was spiked and you had no way of knowing that this had taken place.
- You were not in charge of the vehicle
- There was no likelihood of driving the vehicle whilst you were over the limit or unfit
- Procedural errors/technical errors
We're always here to help you
If you are contacted by the police or receive a summons for court we may be able to help you. It is quick and simple to make an appointment, just contact us by email or phone. We can see you in the office or speak to you on the phone.
We are available 24 hours a day providing a professional service with direct access to a solicitor. If you need help to keep your licence please contact us.Get a free quote