First time offence, only driving 1 year


New member

Firstly, really insightful forum. Been very helpful reading some of the advice thus far.

I was recently picked up for drink driving, with a reading of 61 for the breathe test.

No arguments from me, no story, just a stupid moment.

The scenario is that I was picked up late at night (2am) after a meal. The roads were relatively quiet, not many people around, no accident etc.

I was well behaved, the police officers said as much, and didn't resist or cause any problems.

I have two 'concerns'. Firstly, around 9 years ago I was given a fixed penalty notice for drunk and disorderly. However I paid that in a timely manner, and have never had a conviction or have never been to court.

And secondly, I have been driving for 1 year only.

Could you kindly advise of what kind of penalty I'm likely to receive, including whether I'm likely to need to resit my test post-ban?

Also, I was not planning on getting a solicitor, and instead using a duty one. Would this suffice, and if so, would I need to request prior to attending court?

As a driver within the first two years of passing your test you are considered a probationary driver meaning you are subject to the provisions of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995. This basically means that if you accumulate 6 or more penalty points within the first two years after passing your test then your licence will be revoked and you will have to re-sit your theory and practical tests. However, where a disqualification is imposed rather than penalty points (as will be the case for drink driving) the licence is automatically revoked pursuant to the Road Traffic Act 1988 rather than the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995. There is no re-test requirement when your licence is revoked in this way meaning that you will need to apply to have your licence reinstated at the end of your ban but there will not be a requirement to re-sit your test.

In your case, the previous fixed penalty for drunk and disorderly will not impact your penalty on this occasion. If you had a previous drink or drunk related driving conviction within the past 10 years then you would be at risk of a mandatory minimum 3 year ban. Your ban will be considered on the basis of the guidelines for a first time offender. A reading of 61µg puts you in the second sentencing bracket meaning that you will be liable for a disqualification of between 17 and 22 months and a fine based on your income with a starting point of 1.5 weeks net pay. You should also be offered the opportunity of completing a drink driving rehabilitation course which will reduce your disqualification by up to 25%.
Buy CDT Test