Tis the season… when many face the loss of their driving licence.
Most people are sensible when it comes to placing a strict divide between going for a drink and driving their vehicle. Never the twain to meet. However, in the season of the office party and the quick drink after work, the temptation to take a risk is at its greatest. This is widely recognised and many police services throughout the UK will not only be stepping up their advertising campaigns but also devoting more man hours to catch the would-be offender.
The journey home from work will doubtless be a familiar one and there will be those who, having had that office drink, will conduct an internal discussion on the statistical prospects of getting stopped, given that on the same journey, they have not previously been stopped by the police or perhaps even seen a police officer. Such thinking is of course muddled. Most of those who will be appearing in the courts in the new year for excess alcohol offences will no doubt have employed the same or similar reasoning.
How many is too many?
We have no doubt all heard the fable that two pints is fine. This is palpable nonsense, especially in these days of craft beers, where the alcohol content of a beer can vary enormously. Another myth relates to the time after having a drink when it is likely that the level of alcohol in the body will subside sufficiently that it does not exceed the legal limit. This is where many get caught out. They have been to bed, had a good sleep and feel sober the next morning.
It is generally accepted that a unit of alcohol will take an hour to dissipate from the body. So you have the office party, you are very sensible and get a taxi home. You had 6 pints and think you remember having four shorts. In the morning you are feeling a bit groggy but nothing a strong coffee won’t cure. You have arranged to take the son to football practice at 10am. Are you likely to be within the legal limit? Very unlikely I’m afraid. In fact you shouldn’t even think about driving until about 8.30pm in the evening. The coffe might make you feel better but it does nothing to assist the alcohol disipation rate.
It is the morning, or indeed, the afternoon after a night out that catches many people unawares.
The best approach is to think about things in advance. Not only in terms of ensuring that you are not in a position where you are tempted to drive after having had a drink but also to ensure that after heavy consumption, the car stays firmly locked the following day.
Night in the cells, court appearance and disqualification
Many of those appearing before the courts for drink driving offences have had no previous dealings with the police or the criminal justice system. Being placed in a police cell and the embarrassment of a court appearance are bad enough but when convicted of a drink driving offence, the court has (in the absence of special reasons) no discretion but to disqualify the defendant from driving. For many this will lead to, at the least, great inconvenience but for many, the loss of livelihood.
We have considerable experience in dealing with drink drive offences, which are not always as ‘cut and dried’ as many would think. Apart from the possibility of the circumstances giving rise to ‘special reasons’ not to disqualify, there may be defences available in some circumstances, the procedural requirements for the administration of the tests being rigorous. In one recent ‘failure to provide’ case, the court was persuaded that my client, having been subject to a strip search and then presented at the intoxilyser naked, had a reasonable excuse for failing to provide, having clearly stated that he would provide a sample as soon as he was clothed. At the very least we can mitigate and try and persuade the court to impose the lowest period of disqualification possible.
If you require assistance give us a call on 01843 799121 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org