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Drink Driving Forum: Ask A Solicitor - FREE Legal Advice (Drink Driving)

#1
Hi,

I have a summons for magistrates court in Crawley on Wednesday 25th Feb 2015. My drivers licence is currently in the post getting my name & address changed and photo updated. This won't arrive in time for my court date, will I get fined or will I have a period of time after to produce it?

Also, I had an alcohol limited of 199 milligrammes in 100 millilitres of blood. I am pleading guilty at court. What can I expect in terms of sentencing? Do I need to bring a solicitor or is this summons for the purpose of sentencing only?

Should I also bring a character reference to help my case?

Many thanks
Kizzy
 
#2
You can explain to the Court that your driving licence is currently with the DVLA to have your address updated, there should be no penalty imposed for this. If the DVLA return your licence to you, you will simply be required to send it back to them. Alternatively the DVLA may become aware of your disqualification and simply retain your driving licence.

For a reading of 199 in blood the sentencing guidelines advise a 17-22 month disqualification and a Band C fine. The fine will be based on your income and outgoing expenses and you will be provided with a financial means form at Court so that you can confirm what these are. You should also be offered the drink drive rehabilitation course which will reduce the length of disqualification by up to 25% upon completion.

If this is your first appearance then the case is listed for you to enter a plea. However if you plead guilty to the offence you will almost certainly be sentenced on that date. Whether or not it is worth instructing a solicitor is a decision for you, having representation has a number of benefits, not least the fact that you can go through the full circumstances of the case and try to find out whether you have any possible defence to the allegation. Even if not, with the right mitigation (and yes character references are useful for this) you can keep the disqualification down to a minimum and get your licence back several months earlier than you may do otherwise. However if you are not reliant on your licence then it may not be worth the cost of instructing someone.

If you are interested in representation you are welcome to call my department on 0333 999 7158.
 
#3
Thank you, Sean. This is really insightful. I appreciate your swift response too.

Kizzy

You can explain to the Court that your driving licence is currently with the DVLA to have your address updated, there should be no penalty imposed for this. If the DVLA return your licence to you, you will simply be required to send it back to them. Alternatively the DVLA may become aware of your disqualification and simply retain your driving licence.

For a reading of 199 in blood the sentencing guidelines advise a 17-22 month disqualification and a Band C fine. The fine will be based on your income and outgoing expenses and you will be provided with a financial means form at Court so that you can confirm what these are. You should also be offered the drink drive rehabilitation course which will reduce the length of disqualification by up to 25% upon completion.

If this is your first appearance then the case is listed for you to enter a plea. However if you plead guilty to the offence you will almost certainly be sentenced on that date. Whether or not it is worth instructing a solicitor is a decision for you, having representation has a number of benefits, not least the fact that you can go through the full circumstances of the case and try to find out whether you have any possible defence to the allegation. Even if not, with the right mitigation (and yes character references are useful for this) you can keep the disqualification down to a minimum and get your licence back several months earlier than you may do otherwise. However if you are not reliant on your licence then it may not be worth the cost of instructing someone.

If you are interested in representation you are welcome to call my department on 0333 999 7158.
 
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