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Blew at 94

Gunty

New member
#1
Good Afternoon all.

Last night myself and my partner attended a local beer festival, the intention was to leave the car and taxi home, that didn't happen (taxi was approx an hour away), she drove, we got pulled and I had a long walk home whilst she spend the night in the cells.

To say we were stupid is an understatement, and now she is facing court next month. I have to mention that I may have sailed close to the wind in this regard myself and am reassessing my drinking, so I am in no way being judgmental of anyone in this situation.

I've come across this site and I have to say that its advice and support have been a real help.

We will be preparing a statement for the magistrates, I will be assisting her and driving that day.

Questions I have is what realistically will she be facing ? This is a first offence but we recognize that result was high (Breath at 94)

Would mentioning the fact that we did intend to taxi back be worth mentioning in the statement?

For anyone reading this, my advice is never to take a car somewhere with the intention of leaving it and getting back without it, if it's there-its a temptation, best to public transport/taxi to an drinking event and back.
 
#2
Good Afternoon all.

Last night myself and my partner attended a local beer festival, the intention was to leave the car and taxi home, that didn't happen (taxi was approx an hour away), she drove, we got pulled and I had a long walk home whilst she spend the night in the cells.

To say we were stupid is an understatement, and now she is facing court next month. I have to mention that I may have sailed close to the wind in this regard myself and am reassessing my drinking, so I am in no way being judgmental of anyone in this situation.

I've come across this site and I have to say that its advice and support have been a real help.

We will be preparing a statement for the magistrates, I will be assisting her and driving that day.

Questions I have is what realistically will she be facing ? This is a first offence but we recognize that result was high (Breath at 94)

Would mentioning the fact that we did intend to taxi back be worth mentioning in the statement?

For anyone reading this, my advice is never to take a car somewhere with the intention of leaving it and getting back without it, if it's there-its a temptation, best to public transport/taxi to an drinking event and back.
Upon a first conviction of driving with excess alcohol and a breath reading of 94 sentencing guidelines suggest a low to high level community order and a driving disqualification of between 23 and 28 months. First time offenders are usually provided with the opportunity of to take the drink driving rehabilitation course, completing the course will reduce any driving disqualification imposed by up to 25%.

As the alcohol in your girlfriends system exceeded 87.5 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath she will be classed as a high risk offender which means she will have to satisfy the DVLA of her fitness to drive by taking and passing a DVLA medical before a driving licence will be issued upon expiration of her disqualification.

Our guide to appearing at magistrates court for drink driving offences may prove useful to you. I wouldn't think mentioning the fact that you intended to take a taxi home but your girlfriend decided to drive knowing she would be over the limit due to the fact you would have to wait for a taxi would help matters. Let us know how your girlfriend gets on at court.
 
#3
I too have recently been caught with a reading of 94. It was my first offence and I had mitigating circumstances. I highly recommend legal representation in court, I'm not sure I could have done it alone!. Did your girlfriend plead guilty when arrested?. I also think getting a couple of character references from people in good jobs really helps. I was very lucky and was offered the drink driving course so walked away with an 18month ban and a small fine, and no unpaid work.I have however lost my job and pretty much screwed up my future!. I just hope your girlfriends job isn't dependent on driving as mine was. Good luck with it all, it can be a very stressful time, stay strong.
 

Gunty

New member
#4
Hi Lizzy123,

Thank you for your reply we're sorry that you lost your job.

Can I ask what your mitigating circumstances were ?

My partner does not need to drive for her work, and has gone over her contract of work, there is no mention of disclosing a conviction, she has held a clean licence for 30 years.

She got assaulted at the very remote pub we drove from and was afraid would afraid that there would be a repeat.

She was not offered a Solicitor, phone call or blood test, she has decided to see a solicitor next week for legal representation, the trial is for the week after.
 

ukboxer

Well-known member
#5
She got assaulted at the very remote pub we drove from and was afraid that there would be a repeat.
No offence but this was not mentioned in your original post as a reason why your partner drove whilst over the limit, it was because a taxi was an hour away.

Was this fear of assault mentioned in her interview?

You should be very careful about this especially if it is not the real reason she drove over the limit as many questions may be asked such as.... Was she in fear of her life? If so, did she call the Police? If not, why not? Why didnt she run away? If she had no other choice but to drive why didnt she drive to the nearest place of safety (i.e a very short distance) and then call a taxi, family or friend? Are there any witnesses who could testify an assault was imminent? And so on......

Magistrates like to hear genuine remorse and an acceptance of responsibility. Offering them excuses as to why it was 'ok' to drink drive will not go down well and could result in a harsher sentence.

The vast majority of times it is best to hold your hands up and accept it, be suited, booted, polite and contrite.

I know you are trying to dig her out of a hole but her mitigation can only be her mitigation. The mitigation used by others are of no use to you.

There has been a lot of debate as to whether a Solicitor is really needed in a straight guilty plea where no legal jargon is discussed. A Solicitor may or may not be able to get her the lowest possible sentence. Remember they will want your business so may be optimistic they can achieve that. Bottom line is, if she would feel more comfortable being represented and you can afford it (remember there will be a fine) then seek representation.

If she is pleading guilty there will be no trial. The whole process in Court shouldn't last more than 10 minutes although the wait to get in may be much longer.

EDIT - A blood or urine test would only be offered or can be requested if her breath specimen was no more than 50mg. The Police can also request a blood or urine sample if the suspect is unable to provide a breath specimen due to a medical condition. As her reading was 94mg there was no requirement for this.
 
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#6
I would agree with Ukboxer, blood sample not necessary when the reading is over 50, the exceptional circumstance of immediate further injury as being a reason to drive would have to have been raised when this kicked off, as in "thank goodness you have arrived officer, I was fleeing from a threat of violent assault, will you deal with it please...." Rather than going through the process, then raising it weeks later.
As to the offer of a phone call or a solicitor, those questions will have been asked when she was booked in to custody, and her answers recorded on the custody record. You do not need a solicitor to request a copy of this, she can write to the police station herself, giving her name, date of birth and the date she was in custody, simply saying 'please supply me with a copy of my custody record.'
she could also ask for a copy of the video covering her detention, which should be done as soon as possible as they are often recycled after about 4 weeks unless a request is made to preserve them. That should show the custody officer asking her if she wants anyone informed of her detention, if she has any illnesses, if she wants legal advice, and also if she mentions that she was fleeing from an assault, together with any injuries that she had at that time.
Based on what this evidence shows, it will help you decide if it is worth spending money on a solicitor who will charge you for making these requests.
People who are intoxicated often do not have a clear recollection of what happened at the police station but these 2 simple requests both of which are free, may help refresh her memory of the events..... and save a big solicitors bill!
 
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