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opinion plz

kitten

Member
My background - UK

I was charged and waited two wks for my court date. Lost sleep. I used to work in custody free as an AA and I ended up on the other side (humilating). I broke my back and I am disabled and on benefits.

Yesterday I went to court, pleaded guilty. My alcohol level was 71, first offence. I received a 20 month ban, fined £558. My husband is a retired pensioner and obviously despite my plea that his pension would not be taken into account. He was not the one who broke the law. The choose to ignore this.

I am an honest person and of good character and I thought they would take this into account having been an AA for eleven years.

My question is: Why many DUI's get different bans/fines. There are some people who have driven three times (116) over the limit but the ban was 12 months mandatory and fined £200. That fails to make sense as I feel it ought be consistent.
 

kitten

Member
I would be grateful if you could answer my question. As you specialise in DUI's you ought to be able to answer why others get longer bans/fees. Sure circumstances differ but I dont understand how this works. It ought to be consistent.

Thank you.
 

merlin

Member
My background - UK

I was charged and waited two wks for my court date. Lost sleep. I used to work in custody free as an AA and I ended up on the other side (humilating). I broke my back and I am disabled and on benefits.

Yesterday I went to court, pleaded guilty. My alcohol level was 71, first offence. I received a 20 month ban, fined £558. My husband is a retired pensioner and obviously despite my plea that his pension would not be taken into account. He was not the one who broke the law. The choose to ignore this.

I am an honest person and of good character and I thought they would take this into account having been an AA for eleven years.

My question is: Why many DUI's get different bans/fines. There are some people who have driven three times (116) over the limit but the ban was 12 months mandatory and fined £200. That fails to make sense as I feel it ought be consistent.
Let me ask you a question. Heres a couple of scenarios for you:

First scenario: A guy has been through a really hard time over the last year. First of all his wife had a baby, the baby only lived until it was 6 months old, cot death. This caused a great deal of tension in his relationship with his wife who just could not cope, she was suffering from post natal depression to begin with, she also had other personal problems dating back years, she took to the drink. The guy in question tried to hold things together while working full time in a very stressful job. His wife ended up commiting suicide, he then took to the drink. One night he was on the verge of suicide himself, he had been drinking, he was desperate, he decided to drive to the hospital as a last ditch attempt to stop himself from doing something stupid, he got pulled over while over the limit, he blew 119. He was co-operative with the police at all times. He faced losing his job if he lost his driving licence which he inevitably would once convicted. He had been a hard working man all his life with no criminal convictions whatsoever. His life had literally fell apart at the seams. He was trying everything he could to hold things together and cope with his grief and depression and once sober he was beside himself that he had actually drove his car while drunk, this was a turning point in his life, it was either sink or swim. He got a good solicitor to represent him at court who put together a plea of mitigation and ensured the court was aware of all the circumstances leading up to the offence. They could clearly see he was remoresful.

Second scenario: A guy, likes a drink. Has had quite a few scrapes with the law in the past, quite a number of convictions in his lifetime, no drink driving or motoring convictions though (although this was down to luck as he drunk drove regularly). He had been out at his local all day, which was a couple of blocks from his house. He was over the limit and he knew it. Yet he was hungry and couldnt be bothered walking home to cook something, so he hopped into his car which was parked just across the road from the pub and drove to the takeaway, before heading home. He got pulled over, he was obnoxious and abusive to the police. He blew 99. He wasnt co-operative with the police at all, in fact, quite the opposite. He didnt bother hiring a solicitor for his court case as he thought the whole thing was a joke, he would just use the duty solicitor. He turned up at court and was obnoxious with the magistrates too.

Now who do you think deserves the lengthier ban? The stiffer sentence? Magistrates have guidelines they adhere too, but they are also human beings. I know if i was a magistrate who I would be inclined to give the stiffer sentence to.

This is two cases in the extreme but I think it helps answer the question as to why many drink driving cases get different bans/fines etc.
 
Kitten,

It is impossible to say why you received the particular sentence that you did because we were not in Court and, as such, not privy to the information that was advanced in mitigation.

All I can say is that for a breath readings of between 60 - 89 ug, the Court's usually impose a disqualification of between 17 - 22 months. In terms of your breath reading, it is more or less in the middle of the sentence range and therefore the Court have reflected this by imposing a sentence at mid-range. In view of this I would advise you not to consider appealing if you were weighing up this as an option.

Sentencing is a very complicated process and there are also geographical differences. Ultimately it is up to the Court as to which sentence it wishes to impose once it has considered all the facts in a particular case.
 
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