Will be in court next week after being caught with a 76 reading

Convicted Driver Insurance

Gilln1

Active member
My story is no more than another "I stupidly got in the car after an argument" reason, which I am happy to share, but is really nothing more than that.

I'm a man in his late 40's and I was then pulled over breathalysed at the road side, arrested and blew a 2nd reading of 76 back at the police station which is on my charge sheet. I was obviously kept in custody over night which was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. Since it happened I have been wracked with such sorrow, remorse, fear, self-loathing and guilt about what has happened and what will happen.

I do not have any previous criminal record, when I was caught I was not speeding, not driving erratically, there was no accident and no other people involved. In fact I recall one of the arresting officers commenting that I wasnt doing anything particularly wrong, but i was an odd time to see a car....at the end of the day though their instincts were right, and I cannot condone what I did. I have to say the police throughout treated my with nothing but dignity all things considered.

I've read quite a few different threads on here and there are obviously some very good people on here, and to be truthful I am not quite sure what I am doing writing this. Perhaps to just get it off my chest, to just share the story for others, for thoughts and advice of what people think may a happen when i go to court next week, for peoples opinion of just how bad the punishment may be. The worry of going to prison is quite overwhelming, the whole episode has affected my eating and sleeping.

Seeking "reassurance" in this forum is perhaps the wrong word as I know I am due a hefty punishment, but I do value peoples opinions if genuine. I have decided to use a solicitor which I can see divides opinion in these forums, and will be costing me a tidy sum, but I am so far out of my depth that I feel more comfortable.

If I dont go to prison then when court is over next week, then if its deemed useful I will share what happened so others can use it as reference, and maybe in the future be of help to anyone else here who may need a sounding board should they find themselves in this position.

I'd be very grateful for any thoughts and / or advice
 

BigTom

Well-known member
My story is no more than another "I stupidly got in the car after an argument" reason, which I am happy to share, but is really nothing more than that.

I'm a man in his late 40's and I was then pulled over breathalysed at the road side, arrested and blew a 2nd reading of 76 back at the police station which is on my charge sheet. I was obviously kept in custody over night which was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. Since it happened I have been wracked with such sorrow, remorse, fear, self-loathing and guilt about what has happened and what will happen.

I do not have any previous criminal record, when I was caught I was not speeding, not driving erratically, there was no accident and no other people involved. In fact I recall one of the arresting officers commenting that I wasnt doing anything particularly wrong, but i was an odd time to see a car....at the end of the day though their instincts were right, and I cannot condone what I did. I have to say the police throughout treated my with nothing but dignity all things considered.

I've read quite a few different threads on here and there are obviously some very good people on here, and to be truthful I am not quite sure what I am doing writing this. Perhaps to just get it off my chest, to just share the story for others, for thoughts and advice of what people think may a happen when i go to court next week, for peoples opinion of just how bad the punishment may be. The worry of going to prison is quite overwhelming, the whole episode has affected my eating and sleeping.

Seeking "reassurance" in this forum is perhaps the wrong word as I know I am due a hefty punishment, but I do value peoples opinions if genuine. I have decided to use a solicitor which I can see divides opinion in these forums, and will be costing me a tidy sum, but I am so far out of my depth that I feel more comfortable.

If I dont go to prison then when court is over next week, then if its deemed useful I will share what happened so others can use it as reference, and maybe in the future be of help to anyone else here who may need a sounding board should they find themselves in this position.

I'd be very grateful for any thoughts and / or advice
Hi

Don't beat yourself up so much, just live and learn from the whole episode. You WILL NOT go to prison, so put that out of your mind now.

Get yourself dressed up well for court, take responsibility and show remorse. If you can, get some character references to say how out of character it was for you, it may help with the mitigation.

Based on the penalty calculator your penalty is likely to be;

Details of offence as provided by you:
  • Specimen Type: breath
  • Alcohol Level: between 60 and 89
  • No previous relevant convictions within the proceeding 10 years
  • You have not been disqualified two or more times for 56 days or more within the proceeding 3 years
Based on the information you provided above, upon conviction of driving with excess alcohol, Magistrates' sentencing guidelines suggest:
You will not be an HRO, so will not need to take a medical when your licence is reissued (this is all based on it being your first offence)
 

price1367

TTC Group
Good advice from BigTom.
I will add that you should be offered the opportunity of taking a Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course.
It is offered by the magistrates on the day, but if they forget, you should ask if you can be allowed to do the course BEFORE your case ends, because it cannot be offered once you have left court.
It can reduce your ban by up to 25%
I ran these courses for 15 years and met many decent people who were wracked with guilt about what they had done, and avoided talking about it to anyone.Suddenly you are in a room (well ok, online at the moment, but that will change) with 10-14 other people who have all messed up for the same thing, maybe in different ways.
The fact that you can talk openly amongst each other can be very therapeutic. Who is going to judge you? It can help lift the feelings of shame and move you on to “well OK, I messed up, but I now have the skills to make share it will not happen again.”
We all make mistakes, the wise people learn from those mistakes and can be better people in future.
Those who just say SH*T happens, often find they get more SH*T..........
 

Gilln1

Active member
BigTom / price1367 - thank you very much for taking the time out to reply.

Just being able to get peoples level headed perspective on things and advice is incredibly helpful, and actually quite comforting in some respects.

Up until just over a week ago I had no idea an online resource such as this even existed, but I am very glad it does.

"Those who just say SH*T happens, often find they get more SH*T.........."

I think you just hit a large nail smack on the head there price1367

Thank you again !
 

regretfulsoul

Active member
Hi

Don't beat yourself up so much, just live and learn from the whole episode. You WILL NOT go to prison, so put that out of your mind now.

Get yourself dressed up well for court, take responsibility and show remorse. If you can, get some character references to say how out of character it was for you, it may help with the mitigation.

Based on the penalty calculator your penalty is likely to be;

Details of offence as provided by you:
  • Specimen Type: breath
  • Alcohol Level: between 60 and 89
  • No previous relevant convictions within the proceeding 10 years
  • You have not been disqualified two or more times for 56 days or more within the proceeding 3 years
Based on the information you provided above, upon conviction of driving with excess alcohol, Magistrates' sentencing guidelines suggest:
You will not be an HRO, so will not need to take a medical when your licence is reissued (this is all based on it being your first offence)
Hi,

I blew 61 if was between 36-59 that would of been some what better ban wise.

I was going to pay privately for a solicitor but it being my first offence and me pleading guilty it seems as if there’s no point and to just stick to the solicitor I spoke to whilst in custody.I was was given his contact details but haven’t yet messaged him. Before I message him tomorrow shall I mention to him that im wanting to collect character references from work or a doctors report about my anxiety etc or is that something I should do myself and then give to him on the day? Also I have really bad anxiety so I don’t want to speak for myself in court. Is he able to say everything for me.

Im just so stressed about this whole situation and going over it in my head is just making me panic more.
 

Polly3

Well-known member
Hi,

I blew 61 if was between 36-59 that would of been some what better ban wise.

I was going to pay privately for a solicitor but it being my first offence and me pleading guilty it seems as if there’s no point and to just stick to the solicitor I spoke to whilst in custody.I was was given his contact details but haven’t yet messaged him. Before I message him tomorrow shall I mention to him that im wanting to collect character references from work or a doctors report about my anxiety etc or is that something I should do myself and then give to him on the day? Also I have really bad anxiety so I don’t want to speak for myself in court. Is he able to say everything for me.

Im just so stressed about this whole situation and going over it in my head is just making me panic more.
If you have a solicitor, and I really recommend you do , he will speak for you . I personally decided to get a solicitor other than the one I saw at the police station , and I’m glad I did. He was able to give me more time and attention, which I needed. If you want references, ask for some . Your reading is nowhere near as high as many that the Court deal with. I was beside myself with anxiety and thinking of a million things at once. I feel that I can assure you that nothing will be anywhere near as bad as you fear.
Hi,

I blew 61 if was between 36-59 that would of been some what better ban wise.

I was going to pay privately for a solicitor but it being my first offence and me pleading guilty it seems as if there’s no point and to just stick to the solicitor I spoke to whilst in custody.I was was given his contact details but haven’t yet messaged him. Before I message him tomorrow shall I mention to him that im wanting to collect character references from work or a doctors report about my anxiety etc or is that something I should do myself and then give to him on the day? Also I have really bad anxiety so I don’t want to speak for myself in court. Is he able to say everything for me.

Im just so stressed about this whole situation and going over it in my head is just making me panic more.
 

regretfulsoul

Active member
If you have a solicitor, and I really recommend you do , he will speak for you . I personally decided to get a solicitor other than the one I saw at the police station , and I’m glad I did. He was able to give me more time and attention, which I needed. If you want references, ask for some . Your reading is nowhere near as high as many that the Court deal with. I was beside myself with anxiety and thinking of a million things at once. I feel that I can assure you that nothing will be anywhere near as bad as you fear.
Thankyou for your reply.
Did you find your solicior online and was he pricy?
I may need to go down that route just so he or she can speak for me
 

Polly3

Well-known member
I knew a good local firm . The solicitor you saw at the police station may well come highly recommended however , so check him out ? I would make contact ASAP to clarify what he can do for you. Tell him re the references and your anxiety. My solicitor was pricey, but there were certain aspects of my case that were not straightforward and it was worth it . When is your court date ? I assure you that there are far more serious cases than yours and you will recover from this .
 

Gilln1

Active member
Hi to all

So, I was in court yesterday, and what I write below is of course based on my personal circumstance and charge, so it will not relate to everyone who reads it.

The punishment was a 17 month ban, and the driving course was offered so that will reduce it to circa 13 months, and the fine £670 + costs. So the lowest end of the scale and I dont think I could have got less.

The first thing I will mention is that although in some respects it all starts now, I do feel that a huge weight has been lifted of my shoulders, and last night I maybe had the best nights sleep I have had since then saga started.

As I mentioned previously, I decided to pay for a solicitor. For me personally I feel it was the exact right thing to do. When the solicitor arrived we had a quick 1 to 1 on in an interview room, we went through my notes, he put me at ease that I had a lot of things going in my favour to keep things at the mid to lower end of the scale , he told me what to expect when in the courtroom, he did the talking, and he did it VERY well. I had 2 great character references that he read out very eloquently, and he also quickly noticed that the prosecutor actually read out the incorrect next higher band of punishment they were wanting to which he highlighted - I am not so sure I would of noticed that or at least been able to confidently question that in a court room. I dont think the Magistrate was very impressed with the prosecutor either.

After the hearing I had a quick de-brief with the solicitor too.

It cost a sizeable chunk of money however having him there made me feel I had some support and someone fighting my corner.....I fully appreciate not everyone would see that, want that, or would have the funds to pay for it.

Of course being in a courtroom as the defendant is not a nice thing. It was my first time. However the process itself was very simple. Walk in, stand, confirm my name, date of birth, plead guilty, sit, and the let the solicitor do the talking. Emotionally I found it quite testing hearing the character references being read out because one of them was very kind, and I am glad the solicitor was there to read them without any stuttering or hesitation.

Maybe I was fortunate ( I guess I will never know), but even the Magistrate himself came across as somewhat sympathetic. He spoke to me very directly, but calmly and kindly, even giving some small advice on what the process would look like when I need to get my license back.

The hearing was less intimidating than I imagined, and maybe lasted 15 mins. So for anyone reading this who has a court date due, try not to worry too much, as I say maybe I was lucky, but even a more harsh 15 mins would not have been as bad as I was expecting. The main advice I would give and it has been said many times...dress smartly, be remorseful, dont say anything stupid, and let the process run its course...then you will be in and out.

The only anomaly I noticed was that I was not asked to surrender my license, which I thought was the norm. Perhaps it is done by post in the COVID days. And as far as paying the fine is concerned I was asked if I could pay immediately, which I could, but not able too as the payment desks were closed (COVID again I think) so it will be tomorrow now over the phone.

I hope the above helps somebody even if just a little bit, and I can honestly say the court part was not as bad as I imagined. I'm happy to try and answer other questions for anyone either here or in pm if you think it will help.

Thanks to the people here and in pm that helped put my mind at ease. I will try not to be too much of a stranger on these pages as they have been a big help to me and maybe I can repay some of that kindness.
 

regretfulsoul

Active member
Thankyou for explaining how it went for you.
It has helped some what for me since it was your first time in the magistrates and it will be mine too!
I’m wanting someone to speak on behalf of me too. As for the character references did you sort them out and give to your solicitor on the day and were the both from work, or did you give them to your solicior before you met at court.
Another question if you don’t mind, how much did you blow?

Thanks x
 

Gilln1

Active member
Hi there.

Glad it helped, even if only a little.

I emailed the references to my solicitors office the day before just so they could give them the once over. One was from work and the other a personal one, from my partner.

I blew 76 so was higher than you. If you were a 61 and your 1st offence and you just were unfortunate enough to be caught, but no other real serious circumstances then (although I am no expert) I think you may well get similar to me.

Again, I get it that some may think paying for someone who may not actually be able to reduce anything massively may to some seem like a huge waste of money. They way I saw it though was at least I wont say anything wrong to make it worse and if the level headedness of the solicitor made the Magistrate even consider the lower end of the scale and helped reduce the ban by even a month then it was money well spent.

None of us can walk out of court without a punishment, but try not to worry. As I realized, they are all professional people doing a job so we aren't the first ...or last.....they will have dealt with.

Hope all goes as well as it can for you :)
 

regretfulsoul

Active member
Hi there.

Glad it helped, even if only a little.

I emailed the references to my solicitors office the day before just so they could give them the once over. One was from work and the other a personal one, from my partner.

I blew 76 so was higher than you. If you were a 61 and your 1st offence and you just were unfortunate enough to be caught, but no other real serious circumstances then (although I am no expert) I think you may well get similar to me.

Again, I get it that some may think paying for someone who may not actually be able to reduce anything massively may to some seem like a huge waste of money. They way I saw it though was at least I wont say anything wrong to make it worse and if the level headedness of the solicitor made the Magistrate even consider the lower end of the scale and helped reduce the ban by even a month then it was money well spent.

None of us can walk out of court without a punishment, but try not to worry. As I realized, they are all professional people doing a job so we aren't the first ...or last.....they will have dealt with.

Hope all goes as well as it can for you :)
100% agreed!, you really did help so thankyou. Will keep you updated in two weeks time!!!
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
My story is no more than another "I stupidly got in the car after an argument" reason, which I am happy to share, but is really nothing more than that.

I'm a man in his late 40's and I was then pulled over breathalysed at the road side, arrested and blew a 2nd reading of 76 back at the police station which is on my charge sheet. I was obviously kept in custody over night which was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. Since it happened I have been wracked with such sorrow, remorse, fear, self-loathing and guilt about what has happened and what will happen.

I do not have any previous criminal record, when I was caught I was not speeding, not driving erratically, there was no accident and no other people involved. In fact I recall one of the arresting officers commenting that I wasnt doing anything particularly wrong, but i was an odd time to see a car....at the end of the day though their instincts were right, and I cannot condone what I did. I have to say the police throughout treated my with nothing but dignity all things considered.

I've read quite a few different threads on here and there are obviously some very good people on here, and to be truthful I am not quite sure what I am doing writing this. Perhaps to just get it off my chest, to just share the story for others, for thoughts and advice of what people think may a happen when i go to court next week, for peoples opinion of just how bad the punishment may be. The worry of going to prison is quite overwhelming, the whole episode has affected my eating and sleeping.

Seeking "reassurance" in this forum is perhaps the wrong word as I know I am due a hefty punishment, but I do value peoples opinions if genuine. I have decided to use a solicitor which I can see divides opinion in these forums, and will be costing me a tidy sum, but I am so far out of my depth that I feel more comfortable.

If I dont go to prison then when court is over next week, then if its deemed useful I will share what happened so others can use it as reference, and maybe in the future be of help to anyone else here who may need a sounding board should they find themselves in this position.

I'd be very grateful for any thoughts and / or advice
I bet you are happy that's over.

I blew 124 for my first offence and was kept in custody from Friday night until Monday morning when I went to court. I am not entirely sure this was legal (Scotland,) but all the police kept saying was that it was the norm for readings this high (?)

I then ended up at court on Monday afternoon, basically unwashed, unshaven, teeth not brushed because the cops (apart from on female custody officer,) treat you like a pariah.

At the very least getting a later court date gives you the opportunity to turn up as you would want not as you are and also to get character references before appearing.
 

Gilln1

Active member
Hi there

Yes, very glad it's over, and I am now doing my best to adjust to life without a car.

I've no idea what is legal or not, especially in Scotland but being kept locked up between Friday and Monday sounds very excessive and must have been an awful experience for you.

For me personally, the police treated me pretty much as well as I could have hoped for. And yes I was fortunate enough to be able to make myself look presentable for court. Although the 2 week wait for the hearing seemed like an eternity.

I hope it went as well as it could for you
 
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