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How long to be charged


New member
I was pulled over towards the end of december, breath sample was inconclusive at the station so they took a blood test. I'm 99% certain I was well over the limit, how long do the police have to charge me? I still haven't heard anything from them and I've read 6 months but I want to be sure. Also, if they do contact me within the next 2 months do you think it's worth contacting a solicitor as my blood sample might've been mishandled/misplaced etc?
The Prosecuting Authority have 6 months from the date of the alleged offence to charge you otherwise the charge cannot be heard by the Court. If you do get charged within the 6 months because the sample provided is over the legal limit, the only way to defend the charge will be on a procedural basis. You will need to consider instructing a solicitor to consider this in more detail at the relevant time.


New member
Hi Sean,

Thanks for your help, just heard from the police. My blood level was 172mg so I'm in the second bracket (somewhat a relief as I thought I might be in the bracket above).

Do you think it's worth instructing a solicitor to look into the procedure? I've read online that the longer blood tests take the more it works in my favour, but then again I think it might be easier if I bite the bullet, admit my mistake and take the punishment. Do you think it's likely I'll get a ban of more than 18 months (before the awareness course reduction)? I have a clean criminal record, no prior driving offences, I wasn't involved in an accident and I was pulled over less than 100m from my home.

The reading is the main factor in determining length of ban and 172mg is fairly central to the bracket that you find yourself in. I would suggest that the starting point will more likely be towards 20 months but the mitigation may convince the court to bring that down towards the lower end of the bracket. The court look at the offence and the 'offender' when considering penalty so your background character and other mitigation can be helpful to present.

I would suggest a thorough investigation with a solicitor before blindly challenging the procedure. The length of time taken for the blood to be reported does not necessarily have any impact on any prosecution. The likelihood is that the blood will be analysed in a timely fashion and any delay is likely to be as a result of an administrative issue.