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Advice please - 125 mg & claiming hipflask defence.

A friend of mine was arrested after crashing her car at 10am. She blew 125mg, claiming that she had drunk after the crash (there was a period of about 20 minutes between the crash and the police arriving). She hasn't yet been charged but was released on bail while the alcohol containers found in her vehicle were sent off to forensic's.

From the little I know, it seems impossible that someone could consume that much alcohol over such a short period. I've told her that she should get a solicitor and plead guilty as it would be obvious that she is lying (which she denies). I am seriously worried that this will end up in a custodial sentence for her. There is a history of depression and she is on medication which has been increased since the incident. From what information I can gather even if she pleads guilty a sentence is possible. Any advice appreciated.
If your friend has provided a reading of 125 microgrammes in breath, she will be liable for a disqualification of 29 - 36 months together with either a high-level community order or a custodial sentence. The fact that she was involved in an accident will be an aggravating feature. Therefore your concerns about a prison sentence are well-founded. That said, we have an excellent track-record in avoiding prison sentences in these cases.

I couldn't comment on how viable or credible your friend's hip flask defence is without discussing the case in detail with her. Although on the face of it, it does seem unlikely that such an amount could be consumed so quickly, I have seen cases involving defendants with significant drink problems where such levels have been consumed.

Alternatively, it may be the case that significant amounts of alcohol were consumed both before and after the incident. As such, while your friend may well be guilty of the offence, there may be scope for legal argument over the exact level of the reading at the time of driving.

Given the fact that there is a risk of imprisonment in this case, your friend should seek specialist legal advice without delay. To discuss this in more detail with one of our lawyers, please call 0845 002 0736.

Carl Johnson
Drink Driving Solicitor
On behalf of Sean Joyce
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