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Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Solicitor
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 1420
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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Hi, i was caught over the legal limit for alcohol at 44mg

Resolved Question:

Hi,
i was caught over the legal limit for alcohol at 44mg of breath, but i was not actually driving at the time of their arrival but i was with my vehicle at the side of the road because my vehicle had slid about 3 feet of the road due to some oil being on the road on a sharp bend and i was waiting for the RAC for a tow out of the mud. i have to go to court about the matter and i was wondering what i may be faced with and is there any way that i can reduce the decision? i need my licence for my job! also i was of complete sound matter even though i blew over the limit and even the attending officer was surprised by the reading! is there also a lesser sentence as i was not over the limit by much?

thanks for any help in advance
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 1 year ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

This is a pretty low reading, and the first sentencing guideline band is for mg of between 36 and 59mg. Generally, the period of disqualification is for 12 - 16 months, with 12 months being fairly automatic.

Max Lowry :

However, the Court does retain a discretion on sentencing, and whilst it starts from the guideline amounts, it doesn't have to stick to them, so you could cite the fact you would lose your job etc., from a sentencing perspective.

Max Lowry :

In all honesty though, you're going to find it extremely difficult to avoid a disqualification for 12 months.

Max Lowry :

The fine is likely to be what's called a level C fine - which is around 150% of your relevant weekly income.

Max Lowry :

The maximum is £1,000 for level C.

Customer:

is there any way around as i was not driving when they turned up at the scene

Max Lowry :

But, going back to disqualification, the only hope you have of avoiding this is to show exceptional circumstances, such as the devastating effect it would have on your life, such as losing your job.

Max Lowry :

Realistically, not if you were actually driving when over the limit.

Max Lowry :

What did you tell the officers at the scene? Presumably, you'd said you were driving, and hence the breath test?

Max Lowry :

The issue is simply whether you were driving when you shouldn't have been. If you were, and they can convince a Court of that, then that's it. It doesn't matter you were not actually behind the wheel when stopped (although, in such cases, it's pretty hard to deny you were driving!).

Customer:

yeah but the only reason for the breath test was a formality as he said i had been in an accident

Max Lowry :

Do you accept you were driving when the accident happened?

Customer:

yeah

Max Lowry :

Well, to be honest, you're really unlikely to be able to avoid a ban here I expect.

Max Lowry :

I'm sorry to say that - but I'd rather be open and honest with you.

Customer:

ok, would it help the case if i got a character reference from the officer as he was shocked about the outcome as i was of a sound manner and didnt feel or look drunk

Max Lowry :

Yes, this might assist. It's all about mitigation - showing why the usual rules shouldn't apply.

Max Lowry :

If you honestly thought you were not over the limit, and others were shocked to see that, then this might assist, although the guideline sentences referred to do apply to small amounts of being over the limit anyway, so they might just say that this is normal for the amount of alcohol in your breath anyway and that the usual sentence should apply.

Max Lowry :

But, every little helps.

Customer:

ok, i was thinking of getting a lawyer or something to help, do you know any rough figures of what i could be charged for this situation on average

Max Lowry :

Each lawyer chooses their own fee, but for representation in Court, with little preparation, I would have thought perhaps about £300 - £500 would be about right.

Max Lowry :

I'd suggest calling around, and see who offers what fee.

Customer:

yeah, i will do tomorrow

Max Lowry :

Okay. Good luck with this. If you need any more information from me, just let me know.

Max Lowry :

Please do remember to rate my answer as highly as you can.

Customer:

ok, thanks for your help

Max Lowry :

Thank you!

Max Lowry :

Please do remember to rate my answer, and if you need more general information in the future, do just let me know.


 

Max Lowry, Solicitor
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 1420
Experience: LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
Max Lowry and 3 other UK Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 1 year ago.
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