First drink driving offence

Convicted Driver Insurance


New member
Hi Martin,

I hope you're well. I was hoping to get some advice for my brother please.

He was involved in a drink driving incident where he crashed into the wall and garage of a house. His breath reading was 75. He is due to appear at the magistrates court on the 24th June.

It is his first offence; I don't know whether he should use a court appointed solicitor or a private solicitor?

He has quite a bit of debt (roughly £7000 that I know of), has depression and anxiety and went through a divorce earlier this year. He is also the main carer of our father who is 77 and currently undergoing a dementia assessment.

We know he will get a ban and a fine, but is there any benefit of having a private solicitor over a court appointed one? And will he have any mitigating factors he can use.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

Martin Hammond

Good afternoon.

So in general the biggest disadvantage of a duty solicitor is that they can only act once for your brother and a matter such as this is likely to go to two hearings, given the serious nature. Duty solicitors are also not usually road traffic law specialists.

The downside of a private solicitor is that they usually charge between £900 and £1500 plus vat. But obviously they would engage in far more preparation and would usually only be dealing with one matter at that Court on that day, ie giving you their full attention.

Mitigating factors can only really be determined by taking a full set of instructions but he will undoubtably have some.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards


New member
Thank you for such a swift response!
Do you know if there are any means to him receiving some help will the solicitor fees?
His insurance won’t cover it and I don’t think he would be entitled to legal aid.
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