Drink Driving and the Law

Drink Driving LawA person convicted of an offence of driving with excess alcohol will be liable for a minimum disqualification of 12 months and a fine. Higher alcohol readings will result in periods of disqualification of up to 36 months and the possibility of a community penalty or even a custodial sentence. A person convicted of an offence of failing to provide a specimen will be liable for a disqualification of between 12 – 36 months dependent upon the nature of the offence.

A second drink driving-related conviction within a period of ten years will result in a minimum disqualification of 36 months and the possibility of up to 60 months in more serious cases. A third conviction within a period of ten years carries the risk of a custodial sentence.

Therefore a conviction for driving with excess alcohol or failing to provide a specimen can have a devastating effect upon a person’s livelihood. It is imperative that specialist advice is sought as soon as possible.

How Byrne Frodsham can help

This is an increasingly complex area of law and there is a wide array of potential defences. For example, there may be a defect with the procedure conducted at a police station or hospital; there may be an issue over the reliability of a specimen of breath, blood or urine; or there may be a reasonable excuse for not providing such a specimen.

A thorough knowledge of the law, coupled with years of experience of conducting motoring cases allows us to identify these lines of defence and present them effectively and decisively in Court.

If you have been charged with an offence of driving with excess alcohol or failing to provide a specimen and would like a free, no-obligation discussion regarding your options, please feel free to contact us either by telephone on 0151-424-5601 or email:  mail@byrnefrodsham.co.uk

Services

The services provided would start with an initial interview to discuss the case and its merits.  If we are instructed a detailed statement is taken from the client and witnesses, consideration as to whether an expert opinion is to be sought, research  of the law as to any possible legal defence, arranging to interview or trace witnesses as necessary and thereafter attending Court.

Preparing the case for hearing whether it be a trial or guilty plea and thereafter attending Court on behalf of the client.  All preparation work will be done by Mr Cashman.

If a guilty plea is intended the cost of representation at the hearing.

If  a fixed fee   has been agreed and the case is adjourned for whatever reason  no further charge.

If it is a not guilty plea and the case is adjourned for whatever reason no further charge.

It is very difficult to estimate how long a case takes, in the Magistrates Court an information must be laid within 6 months of the offence.

A client normally has a hearing date when they first come to see us and the matter will be disposed of on that date if it is a guilty plea.

If it is a not guilty plea then it can be anything from 2 to 6 months or longer depending on the Court list in the particular area.

The costs of a case are largely determined by where the case is and its complexity.

We offer a range of fixed fees which are set out below. Alternatively we charge £220.00  (plus VAT at 20%) per hour in respect of the work carried out to include : attendances, preparation, travel, waiting and Court hearing time.  Letters, texts, emails and telephone calls received or sent are  charged at £22.00 (plus VAT at 20%)  per unit.

Our fixed fees are as follows:

Guilty plea and Sentence

Representation at Court for guilty plea and sentence: A fixed fee of £600.00 (incl of VAT)  for attending Court within 20 miles of our office.  For attending Court outside 20 miles from our office, we charge travelling costs at  £220.00 (plus VAT at 20%) per hour.

Not Guilty lea and Trial

Preparation for trial and representation during trial hearing including sentence (if any): A fixed fee of  £1,500.00 incl of VAT for minor road traffic offences.

For more serious offences such as drink/drug driving, dangerous driving: A fixed fee of £2,400 inclusive of VAT.  If the Court is more than 20 miles from the office we apply travelling costs of  £220.00 (plus VAT at 20%). per hour

Exceptional Hardship Argument

Preparation of your argument and attending Court to represent you:  A fixed fee of £900.00 incl of VAT for work within 20 miles of the office.      If the Court is more than 20 miles from the office we apply travelling costs of  £220.00 (plus VAT at 20%)  per hour

Additional charges

In some cases it may be necessary to instruct an expert, for example, a forensic scientist, a doctor, a private investigator  or other expert to assist your case and the fees of the expert will be in addition to our fixed fee.   You would be informed of the cost of obtaining such a report in respect of your case.  The above are examples of the sort of experts we might need.  In all cases you will be informed before additional costs are incurred.

Advice Only

Specific written advice: from £250.00 incl of VAT  In more complex matters, work is charged at £220.00 (plus VAT at 20%) per hour

Letter of mitigation

Bespoke letter drafted to suite the circumstances of your individual case: A fixed fee of £200.00 (incl of VAT)

Initial Advice

FREE OF CHARGE

Please email the details of your  case to: mail@byrnefrodsham.co.uk

Timescales can vary from case to case depending on the complexity of the matter, availability of witnesses and Court time.  Because of this it is impossible to give an accurate timescale but would range from between 1 month and 12 months

A Sample of  Successes

  • Barry Cashman acted for a client accused of drink driving. This was a complex case as a specimen of blood had been taken in a hospital. Our client was found not guilty after a 2 day trial.
  • Barry Cashman acted for a client accused of failing to provide a specimen of breath at a police It was argued that the correct procedure was not followed by the police. The case was discontinued by the Prosecution before trial.
  • Barry Cashman acted for a client accused of failing to identify a driver alleged to have committed a speeding offence. The case was discontinued by the Prosecution before trial.
  • Barry Cashman acted for a client accused of being in charge of a vehicle whilst unfit through drink. It was argued that our client would not have driven while over the legal limit. The case was discontinued by the Prosecution before trial.
  • Barry Cashman acted for a client who had accumulated 12 points within 3 years. The court was persuaded not to disqualify him from driving. This was the second time in as many years that our client had avoided a disqualification on the basis of exceptional hardship.
  • Barry Cashman represented a client who had 9 points on his licence and was summoned for driving at 35 mph in a 30 mph limit. This would make him liable having 12 points and being disqualified for 6 months.  Mr Cashman was able to demonstrate to the CPS and the Court that the client could not have received the S172 Notice within 14 days of the offence, no evidence was offered and the client acquitted.
  • Barry Cashman represented a client in a 2 day trial who had refused a blood test claiming he had a needle phobia. Mr Cashman was able to persuade the Court that indeed his client had a needle phobia despite the fact that he was heavily tattooed.
  • Barry Cashman represented a motorist who was charged with using a mobile phone and driving at over 100 mph on a motorway. The defendant was acquitted when the police officers did not attend Court to give evidence.