Why Representation is Vital?

Many thousands of drivers land up in court every year charged with drink-driving. Being convicted of this serious offence can have a devastating effect – you could be sent to prison and lose your licence, meaning you are also likely to lose your livelihood. If you face a charge of driving over the limit, it is essential to find an expert drink driving lawyer who can advise you and give you the representation you need.

Marcus Croskell specialises in motoring law and has advised and represented many people who face drink drive charges. Importantly, he can give you an honest evaluation as to whether you have a defence and, if you do have to plead guilty, explain any mitigating circumstances to the court on your behalf. 

More than 55,000 people were convicted of drink-driving in 2010-11 according to a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Justice.  Unfortunately rate dramatically increase over the festive period, including 'morning after' drinkers who get behind the wheel in the morning after a party, failing to realise they are still over the limit.

According to official Department of Transport estimates there are more than 8,000 casualties in accidents involving drink drivers each year, including over 200 deaths. If you were involved in an accident where someone was injured or killed, you are likely to face a longer sentence, so it is even more important to find a lawyer who can represent you effectively.  The penalties are severe an may include prison and long disqualification.

Providing a Breath Test

Police officers are on the look out for odd pieces of driving - maybe a car weaving down the road, hitting a curb or potentially causing damage to street furniture or other property.  Marcus has in the past represented persons have literally bounced down a residential orad whilst in drink causing damage to multiple cars on each side of the road.   To stop you for a you breath test, the police officer needs to have a reasonable cause to suspect you are committing a traffic offence or after you were involved in an accident.  In reality this is rarely a difficult hurdle for the police to prove as long as they can point to some conduct from lights being switched off to erratic driving.

If the roadside breath test is positive you will be arrested and taken to police station and you will have to provide two specimens of breath there to be analysed. Under some circumstances you can also provide a blood/urine test.  However, the statutory option to seek an alternative if the breath reading is close to the limit has now been removed from 2015.

If you fail to provide a breath, blood or urine sample it is also a serious offence. This is considered on more depth here.  The consequences of this offence are akin to that of drink driving althought there may be defence to the charge if the polcie officers failed to follow key procedures and secondly as a result of medical problem, for instance if you have a breathing problem.  Your lawyer will be able to explain this to the court if this is the case.

If the tests at the station are positive, you will be charged and usually bailed to appear in court on a specified date.

Drink Drive Offences

The charge you may face vary.  Firstly, if you have not driven the vehicle, but are in charge, you will commit an offence which has a discretionary period of disqualification.  The most common offence is a standard driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol in one’s system which carries a mimimum mandatory disqualification of 12 months and could result in imprisonment.  These offences are all heard in the lower court, namely the local magisrates’ court to where the offence took place.

By far the most serious drink driving offence is causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink – this is an indictable offence which must go to Crown Court for plea or if a trial, before a jury.  The penalties for this are include potentially substantial prison sentences. Also, if you are charged with drink driving together with other motoring offences such as dangerous driving the case may go to Crown Court, where you will need to be represented by expert motoring barrister.  Marcus Croskell has been representing drivers for over a decade in all courts all the way to the Court of Appeal if required.  Many of the more serious offences such as dangerous driving have a mandatory extended re-test.  This is not a simple task as the test is very long and comprehensive.  Furthermore, there be further requirements to pass a medical examination.

Possible Defences and Mitigating Factors

An expert lawyer will go over the facts of the case with you and advise you if you have a defence, e.g. if you were not driving on a public highway or place to which the public have access (a pub car park by way of example), if someone gave you a spiked drink or if you had a drink after driving but before you were breath tested, in which case scientific evidence may be needed to prove this was the case.

If you have to plead guilty, your lawyer can explain any mitigating factors on your behalf, for instance if you were responding to an emergency which amounts to “special reasons”. One way of reducing a sentence in the first instance is by expressing a desire to complete a drink-drive rehabilitation course.  This will cost you more money as these are courses provided by government approved suppliers.  Furthermore, you can also apply for long driving bans to be reduced after you have served at least two years.  See more information on this here.

Marcus Croskell is an expert in representing people charged with drink driving and has appeared in many cases of this type across East Anglia.  He understands that it is bound to be a very difficult and stressful period, but he has all the expertise for you to be sure that your case is put to the court accurately and your defence or mitigating factors are fully explained.

Marcus Croskell is an expert barrister specialising for over a decade in road traffic offences.  If you need advise and assistance with your legal problem, then do not hesistate to contact him by EMAIL HERE or on 0843 886 2603.