If you have recently received a summons for drink driving and are looking for some legal help then we are here to listen and advise you – contact us now!
We have successfully represented individuals who have been falsely accused of drink driving (and related offences), and we have entered a plea of mitigation for other individuals who were guilty of the offence. We have also assisted many individuals at the police station who have been accused of drink driving, either on first arrival or during an interview or both.
The offences for drink driving range from driving or being in charge whilst unfit through drink or drugs or being over the limit through to offences related to failing to give a specimen.
Preliminary breath test
The police are entitled to stop any motor vehicle for any reason. Once a vehicle is stopped, if the police ‘reasonably suspect’ that the driver is or has been driving with alcohol in his body or is attempting to do so or has committed a ‘moving traffic offence’, a preliminary breath test may be administered even if the vehicle was initially stopped at random.
You are technically entitled to refuse to cooperate with a preliminary breath test in certain circumstances, however we almost always recommend full cooperation with the police.
Failure to provide a specimen will usually lead to an arrest as will a positive result or reasonable suspicion that you have alcohol or a drug in your body or are under the influence of a drug.
It is also an offence to drive with certain levels of certain drugs in your system. The police can test this by making you undertake a ‘field impairment assessment’ and/or carrying out a roadside drug test for cannabis and cocaine.
If the police believe that you are unfit to drive because of drugs, whether legal or illegal, you will be arrested and have to take a blood or urine test at the police station. Similar to drink driving, it does not matter whether your ability to drive has been affected by the drugs if you are over the prescribed limit.
Driving or in charge above the limit or whilst unfit to drive through drink or drugs
If you drive or attempt to drive or are in charge of a vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in your breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit (35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood or 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine) or are unfit to drive through drink or drugs, you will be guilty of an offence.
If the lower of the 2 breath specimens is no more than 50 micrograms you may ask for a blood or urine sample to be taken. It is for the police to decide which type of sample will be taken once a request is made.
The comments above are general and should not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or procedure. Expert advice should always be sought on this area. We have not attempted to cover all the obligations or legal requirements that may arise.