If the proportion of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit and you drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place you are guilty of an offence. If found guilty of this offence you will be disqualified from driving and could face imprisonment.

The legal drink driving alcohol limits are:

35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
80 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
107 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine

Possible Defences

It is possible to defend these charges, common challenges include:

  • The person was not the driver
  • The driving did not take place on a road or public place
  • The procedure in taking the sample was not carried out correctly
  • The testing equipment was not operating correctly or accurately
  • The “hip flask” defence – this is where a person consumes alcohol after the driving has taken place and that post driving consumption of alcohol is what takes the person over the prescribed limit. This is a very technical defence usually requiring expert evidence regarding the alcohol consumed and the effect it has on the test results.

With our expertise and experience, we can look at your case and advise whether you have a defence.


Drink driving offences carry a mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months and can also carry a sentence of imprisonment. The sentence is usually dependent on the level of alcohol but other factors, such as, the carrying of passengers and if there has been an accident can make the offence more serious.

Following conviction and disqualification it is possible to reduce the length of the ban by up to 25% by attending a Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course.  This is a course that you must pay for and must be offered the chance to attend when sentenced by the Magistrates. 

Special Reasons

In some cases, even if there is no defence it is possible to argue that special reasons apply. If this is done successfully the Court has the discretion not to disqualify. Examples of special reasons are:

  • Emergency
  • Laced drinks
  • Shortness of distance driven

Special reasons arguments are usually challenged by the prosecution and it is important to have expert legal representation.

Hewitts Solicitors are specialists in dealing with offences in relation to drink driving or excess alcohol. We can advise on possible defences, as well as putting forward a strong case on your behalf.

Our Fees

For details about our legal fees please click here.

To find out more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us for free initial no obligation advice. We are available 24/7, Freephone 0800 304 7740.