Drink Driving Solicitors

Drink driving is a very serious offence, given that it can have a significant impact on the lives of others as well as your own. If convicted of drink driving, you could potentially face far-reaching consequences. 

Depending on the particular circumstances, the penalty will range from a fine to a prison sentence. In addition, the court will generally be obliged to disqualify you from driving for a minimum period of 12 months.

Loss of your licence could have a dramatic impact on you and your livelihood. Drink driving is a criminal offence which will appear on your record. Previous convictions for the same offence within the last 10 years will, of course, make your position more serious. In particular, the minimum applicable ban would increase to 3 years in these circumstances.

Smith Partnership's expert drink driving solicitors offer extensive experience dealing with an array of drink driving cases. Get in touch with our team to find out what we can do for you.

What is Drink Driving?

Our team of experts routinely defend a range of drink-related driving offences, the most common examples of which are:​

  • Driving or attempting to drive a "mechanically propelled" vehicle while above the legal limit – A minimum 12-month ban will generally be imposed on conviction. In the event of procedural errors in the taking of evidential samples at the police station, it may be possible to put forward a defence to such a charge.
  • Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit – This applies where there is no direct evidence of driving and may arise, for example, where the driver is found in the driver's seat whilst drunk. A defence may be available if it can be established that there is no likelihood of you driving the vehicle whilst over the limit.
  • Failing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine – If you fail to provide a specimen, the court's guidelines suggest a starting point of an 18-month disqualification. We may be able to assist in putting forward a defence if there is a reasonable and legitimate explanation for the failure. 
  • Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of alcohol – This allegation can only be tried at the Crown Court, such is its severity, and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment together with a ban of at least 2 years. 

The Drink Driving Limits

In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is: 

  • 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood
  • 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine

Your reading may depend on personal factors such as the type and quantity of alcohol consumed, your weight, what you have eaten, your sex, age and metabolism.

Special Reasons not to Disqualify

Even if you have pleaded guilty to or been convicted of drink driving, there are certain circumstances in which our solicitors can put forward "special reasons" not to disqualify. These must relate to the particular circumstances of the offence and can include:

  • Spiked drinks
  • Shortness of distance travelled
  • Emergency

Drink Drivers' Rehabilitation Courses

If you receive a drink driving ban, the court has a discretion to allow you to attend a rehabilitation course. Successful completion leads to a 25% reduction in the ban. This would usually be offered for a first offence but is less likely in the case of a repeat offender.

How Can Our Solicitors Help You?

If you are facing a drink driving prosecution, you will inevitably be concerned as to the potential implications. The key is to act quickly.

Smith Partnership offers a partner-led team of expert motoring solicitors who provide exceptional advice and representation relating to all manner of offences. Our team will consider all aspects of your drink driving charge in building any available defence.

Why Choose Us?

At Smith Partnership we provide straightforward, jargon-free and practical advice to our clients in Derby, Leicester, Burton upon Trent, Swadlincote and Stoke-on-Trent. We're also on hand to advise on a remote basis, whether via telephone or email.

We understand that a drink driving charge can be stressful and difficult. For this reason, we offer a client-focused approach that is highly understanding and supportive.

Contact our team today

To find out how our expert team of solicitors can help you, contact us today on 0330 123 1229, send us an email via info@smithpartnership.co.uk or complete our contact form.


Your licence will only be in jeopardy if you plead or are found guilty. Drink-driving carries a mandatory disqualification for a minimum period of 12 months, assuming you have no similar convictions within the last 10 years. It is a common misconception that personal issues, such as job loss, can be put forward to avoid a ban. This is NOT the case. In limited circumstances, evidence can be put to the court to establish that there are ‘special reasons’ as to why a ban should not be imposed. Such reasons must relate to the specific circumstances of the OFFENCE. These include issues such as emergency and shortness of distance travelled when there was no feasible prospect of you coming into contact with other road users.