You are looking at a ban of 23-28 months, a fine according to your income and possibly a community order which could involve unpaid work, supervision and maybe an alcohol treatment order if the magistrates think that you have a problem with alcohol. The threashold for custody is a reading of 120 or more, so unless you caused a nasty accident you will not be going to prison.
you can reduce your ban by up to 25% if you are offered, and accept, the chance to attend a Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course.
Im just reading through the drink driving setence forum and seen a couple of times people saying its either a fine or community order, not both. Is that correct?
Also there is no public transport to my work place and beyond walking distance and taxis isnt a financial option and have being working as much overtime as possible to pay my credit card debts off, am I still looking at a ban and risk losing my job? Is there anyway not to have a ban?
Yes, if you get a community penalty then you are not fined, but there will still be prosecution costs of £85 and a ‘victim surcharge’ of £20.
There is no way round the ban because of the hardship that it will cause. If you get 12 points and are looking at a ‘totting up’ ban then you can avoid it if it will cause hardship or loss of your job, but for drink driving the magistrates have no choice but to ban you. The only discretion they have is the length, which is separated into different brackets. As I said before, with a reading of 107, that is 23-28 months.
You do not have to retake your test at the end of the ban, unless you are in Northern Ireland. In theory the magistrates can order a retest but this is usually after a nasty accident or for an elderly offender where they want to see that he / she is fit to drive after the ban.
Ive read about people having reference letters and apology letters. What are the reference letters for and of who and what is stated in them? Do I read them in court or hand them over and does anythink believe they reduce the ban?
I work funny shifts so given a choice I would pay a fine over commiunty service, do I get a choice or do I have to put my reasons forward why I 'pefer' the fine? If given service how does that go around my working hours? Am I forced to take time off work?
You do not get a choice, the choice is the magistrates to decide but they take factors such as work hours into consideration when looking at your suitability to be able to complete a community order.
If they decide that a community order is not practical in your circumstances (having asked for a pre sentence report to be prepared by Probation) then they can impose a fine instead, but it will normally be twice what it would have been for a Drink Drive offence. You can read about the decision making process here:
Reference letters talk about your character from a persons knowledge and can be handed in to the court on the day. An apology can be Niven by you in person on the day, pre prepared and read out by you or it can be handed in on the day. I think the magistrates prefer to hear from you in person to get more feeling about how sincere you are. Both can make a difference, but only within the range that is given for the reading that you had, which is 23-28 months. They will balance what you tell them with the circumstances that the prosecution outline to help them arrive at what they feel is the proper length of ban to give you. If you are getting a reference from your employer you should get them to indicate your work hours and shift pattern to help indicate how difficult unpaid work would be for you.
This is not done before you go to court. The magistrates hear the circumstances and having considered them, and what you have to say, they may decide that they are considering a community penalty. (or custody, but not in your case) hey then ask the Probation service to interview you to find out more about your circumstances, your attitude to the offence and your suitability for perhaps an alcohol treatment order, a curfew and your timescale for unpaid work. In some courts this is done the same day and you are back in court after lunch with a verbal report. In other (particularly smaller) courts the magistrates adjourn for a week or 2 to allow this to happen.
If there is an adjournment, the magistrates would be likely to impose an interim ban, pending your sentence later.
Got a UK coastal holiday booked later in year with kids and is it possible a ban being lifted for a week just for that reason?
Ive read in paper people having their electronic tags removed for holidays abroad and hoping something happens like that for drink driving.
Can I put that forward to the courts and how likely is it?
Quite frankly there is no chance of a temporary lift in your ban. It simply doesn’t happen.
the only way of getting your licence back early is to complete a Drink Drive rehabilitation course (if it is offered at the time) which takes up to 25% off your ban, or to appeal for a restoration of your licence to the court that banned you. This had a minimum requirement that you have completed at least half of your ban, subject to a minimum of 2 years having elapsed - so no good for short bans.