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Can a magistrate reduce a charge from drink driving to drunk in charge on court day?

#1
Dear all;

I am new to this forum and have read through quite a few pages and cannot find an answer to my question. My situation is as follows, and i am sincerely hoping that someone can advise.

the backround: Sunday night my grandfather died, i was at home and had quite a few glasses of wine to toast a life and say goodbye. Monday lunchtime (i was on a day off) I got messages on my phone from my partner who also owns the company I work for, that read like he was closing the business and I was going to be unemployed and single. Stupidly (after 2 lunchtime glasses at home) I got in my car to try and find him country roads, approx 5 miles. My stress levels were high but I genuinely felt ok to drive. At approximately 2.30 pm I was driving along a straight road at approx 35 mph in a 40 zone when an articulated lorry smashed into the side of me as he pulled out of a side industrial park. I turned the car around about 50 yards on and parked up off the road. First thing I did was take photo's of the car and lorry who was still at his junction, then proceeded to ask the driver for his details.

Here's the kicker. the driver didnt speak a word of english, and kept trying to get me to sign a form that was all in spanish. He kept thrusting his phone at me to speak to his manager in spain who yet again I couldnt understand. This went on for what seemed like an eternity, when a bystander said, "you're getting nowhere, call the police", I agreed and we did. My stress levels by this time were through the roof, and it dawned on me that i had just be hit by a hgv. felt very scared and shaky at this point.

The police were delayed in getting there as they were busy on another call. One officer stayed with me to take details, asking if I was driving the car, I said yes obviously. and the other went across to the lorry driver to try and talk to him. after another wait, they finally sussed out what the forms were. At this point the officer told me that it is routine to breath test, and asked if I had anything to drink. I said yes. I blew, I failed.

I was driven 17 miles away to a custody suite arriving approximately 4 - 4.30pm. I blew into the machine and 79 was recorded at which point I was processed and put into a cell. By rights I should have been there til midnight but the officer came back for me about 9.30pm, I had my interview and he drove me home.

He said being hit like that by a foreign lorry is quite common as they don't tend to look the right way first when exiting junctions. He said that I most likely had 'topped up at lunchtime' from the night before which is why i blew high. He said I was perfectly lucid and not falling over or anything thats why he came for me early to release me. He also said that unfortunately I admitted to driving the car (had no choice) hence the charge of drink driving, even though I wasn't pulled for drink driving and they didnt see me driving. In any other circumstance this would have been a drunk in charge of a vehicle charge. now I'm facing 17month ban reduced to 13 with a course.

I guess I'm clutching at straws here - but had the lorry driver been english speaking, with english forms, we'd have swapped details and we'd both been on our way within 15mins. I was 30seconds away from where I was going. So my questions are:

Can a magistrate reduce the charge from drink driving to drunk in charge?

Can i plea for a hefty fine and less ban if not?

Are these mitigating circumstances?

Can stress and adrenalin push readings up? (I also need to find out if my blood disorder means I process alcohol differently)

I would also like to add that I have been driving for 19 years, never had any points, no bumps, not even a parking ticket :(

Please help.... with thanks.
 
#2
I'll answer each of your questions in turn:

1. If you've admitted driving after consuming the alcohol then it's unlikely that the prosecution or the magistrates will substitute a drunk in charge for the drink driving. Your admission under caution is admissible and is evidence that you're guilty of drink driving.

2. It's possible that your mitigation could persuade the magistrates to impose a shorter ban but the minimum is 12 months, reduced to 9 months with the course.

3. Yes, these are mitigating circumstances but it will be up to the magistrates on the day to decide whether they're persuasive enough to reduce your punishment.

4. Whether or not medical conditions affect alcohol readings is a question for a forensic scientist. A lawyer would instruct an appropriate expert to provide a report on that question which could then be used as part of your defence.

if you'd like to investigate a defence then call my team on tel:03333233726
 
#3
Many thanks for your response so quickly.

In regards to point #1 - you say unlikely, Is it worth even asking? I know I have to plead guilty because I already did so.

point #2 - how is it that sometimes I have seen people say they got a ban reduced to 6 after a course? is this out of date things i'm reading?

I'll admit i'm stinging a bit, reading about people who have blown much higher than me and been found passed out in their car away from home are still able to drive due to being found drunk in charge. Its a bitter pill to swallow that the fact that i was hit by a lorry through no fault of my own, not being able to deal with it myself because of the language barrier, and was honest and admitted to driving after drinking won't be looked upon favourably by the cps or magistrates? :(

I'm struggling a bit with what is mitigating and what is aggravating. does aggravating mean the circumstances that led up to this? or is that still mitigating? I'm assuming I can also explain the hardship that this will cause me and my son due to locality of home and work / school, limited public transport, me being the only earner etc? My car is being taken away on monday - insurance are saying a total loss.

Im afraid I am going to have to defend myself, due to being a low income. I will have character statements from my partner/boss and also my own parents (if this is acceptible?) and I intend to write a letter to the court detailing all of the above with a huge apology for being so stupid, and letting things get to me to the point of making that decision to drive the car.

Again many thanks for your help, it's helping to just get some clarity and focus
 
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