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Drink driving - do i need a solicitor, where do i go from here?


Hi, I have a court date of 15/07. I blew 47 so I know I am in the lowest bracket - though I don't know what this means in terms of fines.
Do I need a solicitor? I really don't have funds. I have been advised I could get a duty solicitor on the day but I don't know how much help they'll actually be able to provide.
Secondly, during the police investigation I think I gave quite inaccurate information based on guessing timings and what happened thereafter. Once released, I was able to look at my phone and get much more accurate timings which will have very much affected what I said to the police. How much does this matter? If I am truthful in court, will this then go against me as I have given different information in the interview?
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(The difference being that I pulled over to vomit as I felt unwell whilst driving, fell asleep briefly. Based on the timings I was guessing, and the time I was pulled, I assumed I had slept for a couple of hours in my car. Upon release, I realise this must have been just moments to 20 minutes max).

For further info, this is my first ever offence, I have held a clean license for 8 years, have never had any dealings with the police or the law previously.
A reading of 47µg in breath means that you fall into the lowest of four sentencing brackets. This reading puts you towards the middle of the bracket. In terms of sentencing, the court would consider imposing a disqualification period ranging from 12 to 16 months and either a Band B OR Band C fine.

The fines are calculated on the basis of your relevant weekly income. This would be as follows:

  • Band B Fine – 75% to 125% of your relevant weekly income. The starting point is 100% ;
  • Band C Fine – 125% to 175% of your relevant weekly income. The starting point is 150%

Duty solicitors can be available at court. However, they tend to be reserved for those who are at risk of a custodial sentence. It cannot be guaranteed that a duty solicitor would be available to assist you with the matter on the day of your hearing.

The Court will look at the circumstances surrounding the offence when deciding what penalty to impose. They may consider the timings and comments you made to the police, however, you would have the opportunity to put forward your version of events, to clarify if you made any mistakes when initially speaking with the police. You can also put forward your own personal circumstances in mitigation.

As this is a first offence, you may be eligible for the drink drive rehabilitation course. This would have the effect of reducing the driving disqualification by up to 25%.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact a member of our specialist motoring team on 0333 009 3335.


Hi Sean, I had my court appearance today and the character reference did help to bring down my fine - thank you.
I was charged a victim surcharge of £30 among other fines and fees but I don’t know what this means or is for? There were no victims.
This is called a statutory surcharge that is applied in all cases of this type, irrelevant of whether there is a victim. This is added to a fund that is used to provide compensation to the victims of crime.