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In charge with excess alcohol, Bad ideas while drunk
Localdriver1
post Wed, 20 Dec 2017 - 23:24
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Evening all, I’m new here and have a query after the stupid situation I have got into, completely stupid of myself and 100% out of character, being 30 with completely clean criminal record and 12 years completely clear driving record. I fully understand I have done wrong and expect my licence to be revoked with no one to blame but myself.

Now that’s out of the way,

Recently I was out for drinks, stupidly got in the car to sleep it off, after 4 hours or so I drive 1 mile and decided again this was stupid and I pulled over on a lay-by and slept some more, I was awoke by police and failed roadside breath test and was read my rights and took to the local station where I managed a breath test reading of 60-65, I can’t renember and didn’t get a copy of the print out

I’m curious, what’s on my charge sheet is ‘in charge with excess alcohol in breath 2017/12/17’ was in charge of a motor vehicle on a road within vicinity of a local road name

From that above will I be chased for drink driving when at court or is that offence what I will be charged with ?
I can’t recall if I told the officer that I attempted the initial 1 mile, or if I told him before I was cautioned in general chat before I was breath tested and before I was cautioned.

What I did or didn’t say to the officer I’m unclear in my own mind as was still under the influence and had been just woken from a sleep so generally head up bum.

As said, I’ve done wrong and know it and now I’m just trying to assess the process and how it’s going to go. I have a solicitor meeting tomorrow and court is on 8th January. I was fully respectful and cooperative at the time
Thanks for any reply
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post Wed, 20 Dec 2017 - 23:24
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peterguk
post Wed, 20 Dec 2017 - 23:27
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QUOTE (Localdriver1 @ Wed, 20 Dec 2017 - 23:24) *
will I be chased for drink driving when at court or is that offence what I will be charged with ?


You will only have to answer the charge for which you have been charged with.


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Localdriver1
post Wed, 20 Dec 2017 - 23:37
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So there is no chance of the court questioning how my car got to where it was found? And no chance of upgrading the charge to actual drunk driving?

I’m hoping my solicitor (who I have also never required in my life bar a house purchase) can guide me more on this. But it’s good to get some initial feedback, hence my post.
Some research suggests a 10 point ban at times is possible for the lesser drunk in charge offence, however I am fully preparing myself to loose my license
My manager at work is more than willing to do a profile for me, explaining my character and general behaviour at my place of work, 9 years with recent promotion, extremely rural location with no public transport, required to work shifts and often at short notice etc. Might help, might not, but won’t harm ?
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Logician
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 01:26
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You were not charged with driving with excess alcohol because there is no evidence of you actually driving, everybody will realise that you drove to get to the location you were found in, but as there is no actual evidence of that, you have been charged with the correct offence. It will not be upgraded in court. The guidance the court will be following is HERE. As you can see, your reading puts you right at the bottom of the second band. The likelihood is therefore that you will not be disqualified but will receive 10 points on your licence, any other points on your licence now will make you a totter and if your licence is currently clean you are going to have to be extraordinarily careful for the next three years. The band B fine will be a week's net income, and you will get 33% discount off that for a guilty plea, but have to pay a surcharge of 10% (minimum £30) plus costs of £85.

You can see on the page a list of aggravating and mitigating features, no likelihood of driving can sometimes be useful, amounting in fact to a defence, but not so in your case as you would almost certainly have driven home once you woke up. Your manager's reference along the lines you indicate may help to incline the court towards points rather than a disqualification, but still do not plan to drive home from court because in the unlikely event of a disqualification it will be effective immediately.

A general practice solicitor will be unlikely to have much experience of road traffic cases but by all means talk to them. There seems little point in asking a solicitor to accompany you to court, this is a very straightforward case from everything you have told us and you would be better to save the fee towards the fine.

This post has been edited by Logician: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 01:30


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Localdriver1
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 08:27
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Many thanks for the detailed reply

I don’t mind spending the money to be honest, I’m not rich but I’m happy to pay to have some support in court, the whole situation is quite daunting to me

As for 10 points I would happily take along with the fine

I’m experience then would it be fair to admit guilt and take it on the chin in court, that sounds like the sensible option to me? Or is it a possibility I could argue I could have got a lift in the morning or a taxi once woke
Thanks
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NewJudge
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 09:01
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QUOTE (Localdriver1 @ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 08:27) *
Or is it a possibility I could argue I could have got a lift in the morning or a taxi once woke


There is a defence to the charge which says this:

It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1)(b) above [which is being “in charge” whilst over the limit] to prove that at the time he is alleged to have committed the offence the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of his driving the vehicle whilst the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine remained likely to exceed the prescribed limit.

I think you will have difficulty with this. You will have to prove that you had no intention of driving until your alcohol level reduced to below the limit. You will have to give evidence and even if you do not mention it in your own account (which will be tricky enough), under cross-examination you will almost certainly be asked how you got to the lay-by. It would not be unreasonable for the court to think that if you drove once to get there you may not be too reluctant to drive again as soon as you woke up. As well as this you will have to prove to the court that you knew how long it would be before you returned to a legal alcohol level. I think you will have to take it on the chin.

As suggested, a solicitor is unlikely to influence matters very much. A letter of support from your employer may help persuade the court this was indeed out of character and impose 10 points instead of a ban.

This post has been edited by NewJudge: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 09:11
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Localdriver1
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 09:42
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Thanks for that above
So how long does this sort of offence stay on my licence, if I loose it for drunk in charge, and how long if I get the 10 points

Thanks
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The Rookie
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 10:15
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You don't lose your licence, you are disqualified from driving, as the recommended penalty is 10 points if you are disqualified it will be for a relatively short period.

If you get 10 points then they count for totting for 3 years, most points can be removed after 4 years but I believe that like drink driving, drunk in charge stays for ten (as a record only) but I'm not 100% sure on that.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 10:15


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Steve_999
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 10:37
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DR40 In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit stay on a driving record for 4 years from the date of the offence or 4 years from date of conviction where a disqualification is imposed.

Link
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Logician
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 11:16
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QUOTE (Localdriver1 @ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 08:27) *
Many thanks for the detailed reply I don’t mind spending the money to be honest, I’m not rich but I’m happy to pay to have some support in court, the whole situation is quite daunting to me As for 10 points I would happily take along with the fine I’m experience then would it be fair to admit guilt and take it on the chin in court, that sounds like the sensible option to me? Or is it a possibility I could argue I could have got a lift in the morning or a taxi once woke Thanks


A general practice solicitor is unlikely to have much or perhaps any experience of the criminal courts, so if you want useful support in court you need a criminal solicitor, or for advice about your case a road traffic specialist. As you can see though, those with experience of these matters are agreed that there is no defence apparent from what you have told us, and a guilty plea appears to be your best option.



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fedup2
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 15:09
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If you need support in court buy a bra,far more useful than many solicitors as you have been told.
If your going guilty which is probably best,then all you have to do is answer that when asked.
After that despite all the talkers above,it's probably best to keep your mouth shut.there is no explaining to do as you admitted it in guilty plea.
If you start running away with your mouth then it could make things worse.just tell them it was a moment of poor judgement anyone happen again that's it simple.
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Ocelot
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 19:28
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Do they still have free duty solicitors in magistrates Courts nowadays?
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Colin_S
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 20:29
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QUOTE (Ocelot @ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 19:28) *
Do they still have free duty solicitors in magistrates Courts nowadays?


QUOTE
The court duty solicitor. The duty solicitor can only deal with imprisonable offences such as drink driving, failing to stop after an accident and dangerous driving. They will not take on most driving offences such as speeding, careless driving and failing to provide driver details.


From this web page.

Not sure if that's a yes or a no in this particular case....
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southpaw82
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 20:33
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You’re charged with an imprisonable offence (3 months max) so the answer seems to be "yes".


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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RDA
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 20:54
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Excess Alcohol (In Charge) does not attract imprisonment as a penalty.

If it did, you would certainly be able to call on the services of the duty solicitor.
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Jlc
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 20:58
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QUOTE (RDA @ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 20:54) *
Excess Alcohol (In Charge) does not attract imprisonment as a penalty.

6 weeks custodial seems to be listed for higher offences. (But doesn't seem to apply here)

Drive/attempt to drive has a max 26 weeks custodial sentence for higher order offences.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 21:03


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RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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southpaw82
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 21:42
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QUOTE (RDA @ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 20:54) *
Excess Alcohol (In Charge) does not attract imprisonment as a penalty.

If it did, you would certainly be able to call on the services of the duty solicitor.

Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 says otherwise.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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NewJudge
post Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 21:47
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QUOTE (RDA @ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 - 20:54) *
Excess Alcohol (In Charge) does not attract imprisonment as a penalty.


Yes it does. As already explained the maximum penalty is three months custody.

The duty solicitor is only available to see and represent defendants who face an imprisonable offence (measured by the maximum penalty, not the guideline penalty). But they can do so on the defendant's first appearance only. After that they have to apply for Legal Aid and if that is not granted they have to make their own arrangements.
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Localdriver1
post Fri, 22 Dec 2017 - 06:29
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Spoke with the solicitor yesterday who has handled drink driving type stuff before. She agrees that it’s highly unlikely that a drink driving charge will be chased in court. She explained bits and pieces about how it will go.

I literally do not care about wasting money on this lads so comments like buy a bra for support are not needed. If all she does is tells me what door to go through that’s her being useful, I’ve literally zero experience of any of this and at times I think more experienced people, on both sides of the law can forget how intimidating or daunting the process can feel.

She can’t offer any prediction on a outcome as the local court does not have a lay magistrate, it changes often

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southpaw82
post Fri, 22 Dec 2017 - 12:48
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If you feel that being represented is a good use of your money then do so.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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