The morning after… drink and drug driving
It’s funny how things change as the years pass by. Perhaps only ten years ago, if we were thinking about particular spikes in alleged criminal offending over the Christmas period, the one that would jump out would always be drunk driving.
These days it is common to come across drug driving due to advances in technology and the ability to detect an increasing range of substances in the body.
It is well documented that if people believe the chances of detection to be low, the temptation to commit a crime is higher. Most people know that there is considerable pressure on police resources. Therefore even when we see a police car on the roads, it is most likely already being deployed to an active incident, not cruising the streets looking for errant drivers.
Ironically, the story here tends to be related to the morning after.
The main event is often an otherwise minor road traffic accident attracting the attention of a passing police officer, resulting in alcohol and drug testing and an arrest for those still affected by the excesses of the night before.
Drugs can be particularly problematic as their journey through the body is much less predictable than alcohol, putting those users at risk for extended periods.
Road traffic law remains one of the most complex areas of criminal law, so if you are being investigated for any drug or alcohol-related driving incident or have been charged or summonsed to appear before a court, it is very much in your interests to contact us at the first opportunity. These offences will invariably result in a driving disqualification if you are convicted. The stakes can be enormous, particularly if you rely on a driving licence as part of your employment.
We will explore all available offences and mitigation and ensure you receive the finest representation.
Drug Driving – Sentencing Guidance
As a guide, where an offence of driving or attempting to drive has been committed and there are no factors that increase seriousness the Court should consider a starting point of a Band C fine, and a disqualification in the region of 12–22 months.
Where there are factors that increase seriousness, the Court should consider increasing the sentence on the basis of the level of seriousness.
The community order threshold is likely to be crossed where there is evidence of one or more factors that increase seriousness. The Court should also consider imposing a disqualification in the region of 23–28 months.
The custody threshold is likely to be crossed where there is evidence of one or more factors that increase seriousness and one or more aggravating factors. The Court should also consider imposing a disqualification in the region of 29–36 months.
Drink Driving – Sentencing Guidance
The starting point applies to all offenders irrespective of plea or previous convictions.
Drink and drug driving defence solicitors
If you do make a mistake and find yourself in trouble, there is a lot we can do to assist you.
In some cases the police will want to interview you about the offence. If this is the case, whether under arrest or as a volunteer, always make sure you seek our free and independent legal advice. You can read about the benefits here.
The police must follow complex procedures to establish a case against you. Our lawyers will be able to analyse the evidence to ensure that the procedures have been followed. We can successfully challenge the evidence in your case.
A road traffic solicitor can also investigate issues such as ‘laced drinks’ which can raise the opportunity to avoid disqualification. We will also consider other ‘special reasons’ that could be raised on your behalf. This might include the shortness of distance that was driven.
Well-presented mitigation can make a real difference to the outcome. Even where a disqualification cannot be avoided, we can often achieve a reduction in length.
Legal aid might be available dependent upon your means and the circumstances of your case. Alternatively, you will be able to fund your case through an affordable fixed fee.
Contact one of our drink drive solicitors at your nearest office if you are being investigated by the police or taken to court as a result of the Christmas drink drive campaign. They will, of course, be able to discuss and other driving matters that you face.
Alternatively you can use the contact form below to ask for a call about your case.