Our specialist drink driving lawyer, Steve Williams, recently gave a presentation on Common Drink Driving myths for the popular MMB business group. The presentation went down so well, we thought we would share some of the myths in this post.
“I need my car for work, so I can ask not to be disqualified for drink driving.”
False. Needing your driving licence for any purpose (work or otherwise) would not be grounds for you to avoid a disqualification.
“You can get points for drink driving rather than a ban.”
False. You cannot get penalty points instead of a ban, whatever the circumstances. Points are never given instead of a ban.
“I drank some cough mixture and it had alcohol in – this put me over the limit.”
False. Although some medications contain alcohol, you would have to drink it in enormous quantities.
“I have toothache and have been using mouthwash – it put me over the limit.”
False. Mouthwash is usually not swallowed, so would only affect mouth-alcohol readings. If you are charged on a breath test result, this is based on breath from your lungs.
“I have slept since I drank, I can’t be over the limit.”
False. Sleep, coffee and cold showers don’t sober you up. Only time will get the alcohol out of your system. You could have slept for hours and still be over the legal drink driving limit.
“I was in a pub car park – it’s private property so I’m not guilty.”
False. A pub car park is accessed by members of the public so you would be guilty of a drink driving offence if found to be over the legal limit to drive.
“My breath reading was below 50, so the police should have given me a blood test.”
False. The law changed on 10 April 2015 and the statutory option to provide a blood (or urine) sample was abolished. You can be charged on a breath reading below 50.
“I didn’t want to give a breath test; the police should have let me give blood instead.”
False. Not wanting to give a breath test is not an excuse for refusing to comply with the police request. If you have a medical reason, on the other hand, then you may have a defence if the police charge you with failing to give a specimen for analysis.
“I refused to give a blood test because I have a fear of needles so I have a defence.”
False. Just because you did not give a sample, and cannot therefore be charged with a drink driving offence, this does not mean you have a defence to the separate charge of failing to give a specimen for analysis. However, if you have medical reasons for not complying with the police request, you may have a defence.
“I refused to give a breath test. I can’t be guilty because I wasn’t driving.”
False. As above. Again, if you had medical reason, or genuinely made your best attempt, you may have a defence. However, if you refused because you simply did not wish to comply with the police request, then you could be found guilty of the offence of failing to provide a specimen for analysis. This is a complex area, call us now to discuss this with a drink driving lawyer.
“Putting a coin under your tongue will fool a breathalyser.”
False. This is an urban myth. It would not work. The breath test machines in the police station are very sophisticated and would not be fooled.
“You can drink 2 pints and be under the limit.”
Not necessarily. As people’s bodies process alcohol at different rates (depending on their gender, age, height, weight, build, when they last ate and drank and what they drank) it is not possible to identify a generic drink driving limit in terms of pints of beer, glasses of wine, etc. It is therefore better to err on the side of caution and not drink alcohol at all if you intend to drive.
“I’m good at talking, I’m better doing it myself. If I take a lawyer it looks like I’m trying to get away with it.”
False. Usually mitigation is more effective when put forward by a drink driving lawyer who is used to speaking within the court room. Even people who are used to talking in public can make mistakes, or appear arrogant when representing themselves. On the other hand, people who are nervous and not used to public speaking can feel overwhelmed by the experience. It does not look like you are trying to get away with it if you are represented in court by a specialist drink driving lawyer. Rather, it demonstrates to the court that you are taking the charge seriously, for which you should receive credit.
If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, or with failing to provide a specimen for analysis, please call our drink driving lawyer today on 01623 600645 for free, initial advice.