A nurse on her way to work at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in 2012 was caught drink driving after her car collided with another. She was disqualified from driving for two years and the Nursery and Midwifery Council launched an investigation, finding her fitness to practice impaired. They imposed a two-year order against her as they felt the case was so serious: the nurse was found to have a reading of 120mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
A Southampton man has been charged with drink driving and is due to appear at Southampton Magistrates Court after crashing his car into a lamp post.
The 34-year-old man was on the outskirts of Romsey when the incident occurred.
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We were contacted last week by a woman who had been charged with drink driving, her trial was 2 days later.
Our client was surprised that her reading was so high and called us to see if there was anything we could do to help.
She told us that the machine at the police station was not working so the police called the doctor to take blood.
After a few questions it became clear that the doctor had not done the procedure correctly.
Our client told us that she specifically remembered the doctor taking blood from one arm and then because he could not get much blood he tried the other arm.
This was completely wrong and gave our client a cast iron defence.
At court the doctor gave evidence. He had been a police doctor for 35 years. He could not remember whether he took 1 or 2 lots of blood but it didn’t matter anyway because he could take more than 1 specimen and mix them together.
The court agreed (they had no choice the law is clear). They threw the case out and ordered that our clients costs be repaid.
The blood must be from 1 attempt, even if there is only a tiny amount from the first attempt it is invalid and makes the sample inadmissible.
As usual England were knocked out on penalties last night. Having gone to extra time there was an extra 40 minutes drinking time. Most people are sensible and don’t drive to the pub if they know they are going to be drinking.
But it’s not as simple as that. A lot of drivers are being charged with drink driving because they drove the following morning whilst still over the limit.
Everyone eliminates alcohol at a different rate, our scientific expert says that the most likely elimination rate is 8ug% per hour. The limit is 35ug%.
A pint of beer is around 15ug%, if you have 7 pints you would have a reading of around 105ug% depending on various factors. That means it would take up to 9 hours before you are below the legal limit, if you are an early starter that could cause problems. Particularly if you stayed on in the pub to drown your sorrows.
Interesting case today. Client has been charged with drink driving, he accepts that he was over the limit and was stopped whilst in his car but wants to argue that there are special reasons not to disqualify him. The special reason is that he only drove a very short distance.
I hear this often, about 2 or 3 calls every day are from someone saying that they had only driven a very short distance. It normally turns out that that short distance is about half a mile. This is far too far, the courts have said in the past that even 400 yards can be too far. You have to show that there was no risk of coming into contact with other road users.
My client had been out to a pub, popped back to his car to get his phone. His car had been parked up in the pub car park and he was intending to get a taxi home. As he got in the car he saw that the window was icing up. With the snow and ice he was concerned that he would not be able to get the car out in the morning as it was facing up a slight incline in the pub car park. He decided that he would turn the car around to face the other way to make it easier to move it in the morning.
He was stopped as he was moving it, the police were called and he was arrested. He had moved it 5 foot.
The important thing that we had to show was that he did not intend to go much further and that there was little possibility that he would come into contact with any road users.
The matter has been adjourned for a special reasons hearing in 2 months time, in the meantime he will be able to drive and the court will decide at the hearing whether this is sufficient for special reasons.
**Steve Williams is the Motoring Solicitor, these diaries are based on true case, details, including the court have been changed in order to protect the clients confidentiality. Not all of Steve Williams’ cases are reported in the diary.
If you would like free, impartial advice from Steve Williams call now 01623 397200
A Nottinghamshire ambulance driver was yesterday found guilty of drink driving and sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work and banned from driving for 2 years.
He was 2 1/2 times over the limit and was involved in a 7 vehicle crash on the A52.
There are a number of aggravating features that the court will have taken into account in this case.
The court has sentencing guidelines that they follow and things such as being involved in a crash, working as a public servant at the time and the high reading are all things that they will consider makes the case more serious.
For the sentencing guidelines click here
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In a survey released yesterday over half (53 per cent) of drivers surveyed think there is a one in four chance of being caught and almost a third (31 per cent) think there is less than a one in ten chance.
Figures also show that in 2009 only 2% of drivers were given road side breath tests.
Does this mean that drivers are taking chances and driving when over the limit?
We rarely get clients who have deliberately driven whilst over the limit. The majority have miscalculated the amount they have had or have driven the following morning believing that they were under the limit.
Regardless of the circumstances a ban cannot be avoided for drink driving unless some very specific conditions apply.
For details see – Special Reasons to avoid being disqualified for drink driving.
Call us on 01623 397200 at any time for free, specialist advice.
Nottinghamshire police have launched a crack down on summer drink driving.
Statistics show that more people are caught drink driving during the summer than at any other time.
Quite apart from the obvious risk to yourself and other people the punishment for drink driving is very harsh. The courts have to ban you for a minimum of 12 months, even if you are only a little way over the limit.
The length of the ban will increase depending on the level of alcohol as well as other factors such as whether you had passengers in the car, the time of day and the manner of the driving.
Whilst the court have to ban you they can be persuaded to reduce that ban to a minimum and to offer you a course which would reduce it by 25%.
It is important that you have assistance from a specialist drink driving solicitor who can really make a difference to the level of the ban.
In some circumstances there may even be a defence.
Call us on 01623 397200 at any time for free, specialist advice.
I appeared in Derby Magistrates recently with a client who had been caught drink driving. He was stopped on the way to dropping his daughter off at school and was still over the limit from the night before.
Many people don’t realise how long it takes for the alcohol to leave your system and a heavy nights drinking can leave you over the limit the following day.
The punishment is just the same, the courts have to disqualify you for a minimum of 12 months. They will often disqualify you for longer because there are a number of factors that make it more serious such as it being a busy time of day and having passengers in the car.
In this case I was able to persuade the court to be lenient in terms of the length of sentence.
If you find yourself in a similar situation it is important that you get advice from a specialist lawyer. Call us any time on 01623 397200 for free initial advice.
As a specialist drink drive solicitor I come across a lot of clients who are desperate to keep their licence. My job is to find a way to keep them on the road.
There are a number of ways we can do this, sometimes there is a defence. If we can’t find a defence then we look to see if there are any special reasons that we can use to avoid disqualification.
Recently at Leicester Magistrates my client had been charged with drink driving. He asked me to attend to try and keep the ban to a minimum. I went through the papers with him and it looked like the police had made a mistake with the procedure. I advised him that he should plead not guilty.
We went into to court and I explained the defence to the prosecutor who agreed that the police had made a mistake. She suggested that we adjourn the matter and she would check with the police to see if they had conducted the procedure as it appeared they had.
2 weeks later the CPS wrote to us saying they were dropping the case against my client.
The court agreed to refund my client’s reasonable costs so a great result all round for him.