Help about possibility of prison

tulip125

Member
Hi there,

My sister has been charged with drink driving and has court next week. She has no previous driving convictions or any legal convictions at all (she's never been in trouble in her life in fact.) However she's been suffering with anxiety & depression & alcohol addiction for a year or so now (all is well documented) and unfortunately a week or so ago she drove home very drunk. She wasn't arrested in the car, in fact someone had reported her for driving recklessly & the police came to the house and arrested her after she'd got home. We have instructed a solicitor but they have said because of her breath test being so high (it was 192 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres - so over 4 x the legal limit) that its possible they could send her to prison. We've been told its very unlikely as its her first offence, nobody was hurt, she's pleading guilty etc and has documented problems) and that its more likely a huge fine, ban and at worst community service. But I want someone to honestly tell me if they think there is a likely hood of prison time or if anyone has been through something similar where they have been very much over the limit like this? Thanks in advance

Convicted Driver Insurance

Compare quotes from leading covicted driver insurance specialists in the UK

Get Quotes
 

Anxiousannie

Active member
I was in a very similar position, high reading, first offence. I got a solicitor to support me, typed out all the factors leading up to the event and pleaded guilty. I got two letters of character references from professionals who know me we.. I was given an £800 fine, £75 costs, 22 months ban reduced by 5 months for undertaking the drink drive course. Very unlikely to get a prison sentence , but a solicitor helped me not get community service. Hope this helps. Write to the court beforehand to say you are going to plead guilty.
 

craig121

Well-known member
Hi there,

My sister has been charged with drink driving and has court next week. She has no previous driving convictions or any legal convictions at all (she's never been in trouble in her life in fact.) However she's been suffering with anxiety & depression & alcohol addiction for a year or so now (all is well documented) and unfortunately a week or so ago she drove home very drunk.
Moving fwd it's best she works closely with her Doctor in regaining her Licence immediately, the DVLA are going to require atleast 1 years full abstinence from what you have stated, since she's going to be off-road (banned) atleast 1 year they can run simultaneously if you get the drift but regular appointments with Doctor and abstinence is a must from now
 

price1367

TTC Group
That is a very high reading, which will attract a ban of 29-36 months for a first offence.
The guidelines also indicate a prison sentence, starting at 12 weeks, but the guidelines also go down as far as a large community penalty.
She definitely needs a solicitor to try to pursuade the magistrates to go for the bottom end of their guidelines. To help with this she needs to show what she has done herself to try and address her problems BEFORE court.
 

DonkeyKong

Well-known member
If it helps... I blew 124. That is 3.5x the limit. 192 is 5.5x legal limit.
Very similar circumstances - never been in trouble, decades of clean driving, one bad decision due to anxiety and depression, didn't hurt anyone or anything, wasn't actually driving, although didn't have any alcoholism/dependence. Everyone on here, the police who arrested me, my solicitor and the pre-court probation officer all told me prison was unlikely... and I did't get custodial sentence. But I was told I was very close since my reading was *way* above what they normally deal with. I got 200 hours CS, 14 week DiD program,10 RAR days, court/victim costs, and 30 months ban.
I cannot see how she couldn't get at least what I got, plus some, but this could still be just even more CS hours, rather than prison. The CS hours replaced the fine. I was expecting the huge fine, but didn't get it.
Before court, I had self admitted into a alcohol concern program, got a report from the Dr about anxiety issues, and instructed the duty Solicitor from the night of the arrest to represent me on the day. I did my own apology letter, and didn't get any references as I didn't want to involve anyone else in my stupidity. Solicitor was with me all day, and guided me around the whole process. It was the best £350 I ever spent.
Good luck.
 

TipsyNurse

Well-known member
The normal advice is, absent of any defence, fall on your sword, be apologetic and make it clear that you have learnt your lesson and will never do it again.

Prison with DD is usually used when someone has shown reckless disregard and is likely to drink drive again if they are not imprisoned. Although magistrates have the option of prison simply for a high reading, it is unlikely they would take that option unless they actually think the driver will DD again.

As they are at risk of being imprisoned they can get free legal representation in court, although of course because there is a real, if small, risk of imprisonment paying a solicitor may well be worth if for the reassurance of having more time with them.
 

Woozle47

Member
Thanks so much for all of your replies!
Make sure she has a solicitor. Come the court day - it's unlikely they will ask her to speak (apart from her name, age address) but important her solicitor does their homework & puts over a strong sympathetic case. I would say prison is unlikely but with such a high reading expect at least a 2 year driving ban & a big fine. With you saying it's a first offence acts in her favour but unfortunately won't avoid punishment. Good luck
 

tulip125

Member
Make sure she has a solicitor. Come the court day - it's unlikely they will ask her to speak (apart from her name, age address) but important her solicitor does their homework & puts over a strong sympathetic case. I would say prison is unlikely but with such a high reading expect at least a 2 year driving ban & a big fine. With you saying it's a first offence acts in her favour but unfortunately won't avoid punishment. Good luck
she has a great solicitor and they've put together a folder with letter from GP about her issues with alcohol and depression, as well as letter to the judge from my sister and her AA tick sheet to show she's been going 2-3 times a week. Hoping they take all of that into account and the fact its the first time she's ever been in trouble. I think her solicitor is going to push for high community service order but were kind of expecting at least a suspended sentence. Thanks again :)
 

Anxiousannie

Active member
That's what I did and they did look on it very favourably as you will have demonstrated a willingness to get better and make an effort to present yourself well. A community order is not so bad as they do try to place you somewhere preferable to you getting better. Good luck x

Convicted Driver Insurance

Compare quotes from leading covicted driver insurance specialists in the UK

Get Quotes
 
Top