Charged Drink Driving

If you’ve been charged with a drink driving offence then you must act QUICKLY.

The police will have arranged the earliest possible court hearing while you remain in a state of shock, having suffered the indignity of having been arrested and taken to a police station; in all probability for the first time in your life.

There you will have been subject to personal questioning and a physical search, carried out by total strangers. You may then have spent the night locked up in a smelly cell, perhaps previously occupied by a drunk or class “A” drugs user.

You will have got little sleep having been kept awake by cell doors slamming and the shouts from your neighbour in a cell further down the police cell custody corridor. Whilst you tried to rest you will probably have been woken, every 30 minutes or so, when the hatch to the cell door was opened allowing a custody officer peer in to check on your welfare!

And it’s just the beginning…

All in all a humiliating and frightening experience, but that is just the beginning. Your thoughts inevitably (perhaps immediately), after the officer told you that you had failed the evidential breath test, will have focused on the future: what will a 12 month, or greater, driving ban mean for your family, your job or business? How will your husband wife or partner react? How will you pay the mortgage? will your children have to move school? These and many more will be the questions which will torment you.

And then What about the loss of your good name and the stain on your character, caused by a criminal conviction? The whole thing will feel like a complete nightmare: an endless dark tunnel with no end, no light, no hope!

You may despairingly think that you will have no alternative but to plead guilty, take the 12 month plus disqualification, and the rest of the punishment, which will inevitably be imposed, following your guilty plea.

However, even in the most apparently hopeless drink driving case, it would be quite wrong to approach your predicament in that way, because you are “putting the cart before the horse”; thus reversing, in your own mind, the burden of proof (which remains on the prosecution throughout).

Put simply if you plead guilty then you are guilty and this is something which is virtually impossible to undo later, once done!

You don’t have to prove a thing!

You should remember this; you don’t have to prove a thing, it’s the police and Crown Prosecution Service who bring the case and therefore it is they who must prove it “beyond reasonable doubt”. In other words they must satisfy the magistrate’s so that they are sure of your guilt: nothing else will do! Also bear this in mind, as was noted by a leading academic writer Pauline M. Callow [“Drink Drive Case Notes”, Second Edition.]; “The conviction rate is high, yet it is estimated that a considerable proportion of cases feature undetected procedural errors, which might have led to acquittal.”

Now watch the video for more crucial information:

The following comment from a former Senior Crown Prosecutor makes this vital point even more clearly:

“I prosecuted for almost 20 years and was continuously amazed at how seemingly intelligent people would come to court and, after a short glance at the prosecution papers, plead guilty without having even thought about speaking to a lawyer. In their mind they had been under the influence, driven a vehicle and been stopped and arrested: that was, for them, enough; believingperhaps falsely – that the prosecution case couldn’t be challenged.

They simply wouldn’t question whether or not they should have pleaded guilty in the first place!

My job was simply to review the file (provided by the police) and, if everything appeared correct, accept the case and prosecute. I did not have access to all the case papers and therefore it would have been impossible for me to have confirmed, one way or another, whether there might have been some sort of technical defence. Anyway that was a job for a defence lawyer and not me. If a defendant chose not to instruct a lawyer, then that was his or her business: it was not mine!”

The prosecution must prove every "element" of the case otherwise the case fails. Check out what can be done to fight the case.

What can be done?