Drink driving

A drink driving offence is treated very seriously in Scotland. As such, drink driving penalties are severe with disqualification and large fines handed out. Our drink driving lawyers are experienced in offences related to the Road Traffic Act 1988. Failing to provide a breath sample is also a serious driving offence and can result in a longer ban.

Drink driving FAQ

A: Drink driving is a severe offence in Scotland, and losing your licence is the minimum punishment you can expect. Large fines of up to £5000 are common. Repeat offenders can have their cars forfeited and sold without receiving a penny from the sale. You must call our drink driving solicitors as soon as possible to avoid these extremely harsh penalties.
A: Drink driving is driving whilst over the limit of alcohol intake which is 22 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. 50 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100ml of blood.
A: Taking a breath or blood sample must be done following very strict protocols. If these protocols are not followed the results of such a sample may be inadmissible in court. There is also the "hip flask" defence. When a sample is taken to examine the alcohol content of a person driving, it is assumed the proportion of alcohol in the sample is the same as the proportion of alcohol present in the driver at the time of the offence. IF a person was to be stopped by the police and then take a sip of alcohol to steady their nerves then the alcohol content from a breath sample would be higher than the alcohol content inside the driver at the time they were driving. This is known as the Post Incident Drinking Defence.

Drink driving in Scotland

Police in Scotland are continuing to crack down hard on incidents of drink driving. After a week of the new, stricter campaign, it was reported that over 140 drivers are potentially losing their licences and appearing in court concerning drink driving offences. It’s vital to understand the consequences of drink driving in Scotland. It is also crucial you understand what to do if you find yourself in this position.

Drink driving penalties

Police have been extremely active across the whole of Scotland, with arrests from many areas. Some of the areas with reported arrests include Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Irvine, East Kilbride, Hamilton and Paisley. Of these cases, many have been incidents with drivers having too high levels of intoxication. When caught drink driving in Scotland, you will be facing a minimum 12-month mandatory driving ban. This is unless the courts decide it is appropriate to place you on a driving rehabilitation scheme. These schemes can help reduce the period by around 25 per cent. Drink driving penalties are so severe as the offence causes deaths each year.

It’s not just a driving ban and licence removal that you may be faced with if caught intoxicated at the wheel. Drivers who are 3x over the limit face having their vehicles forfeited. As such, you should be aware that you stand the chance of not just losing your licence and livelihood, but your car can be seized too.

Public perception

It doesn’t always have to be the police who catch you out, as they are encouraging people to give more information about drink driving incidents. They have encouraged anybody with information to tell the police so they can take the necessary action. Drink driving is highly frowned upon in Scotland, and you can find yourself becoming a social outcast if you are caught offending. However, it is essential to ensure that each case is treated individually, and all circumstances are evaluated. There is often a backstory about why the offence has taken place, so each case should have a fair assessment so the courts can understand the situation entirely.

Drink driving solicitors

If you have been stopped during this strict clampdown, police will issue you with a bail order which instructs you to attend court on a particular date. The best thing to do if you find yourself in this position is to contact a lawyer. These initial conversations can help receive an informed opinion about your case, and the best steps to take moving forward. Drink driving lawyers can help set out a plan about what can be done if the case goes to court. 

Your case in court

Your case will rely on the facts of the two Police Officers who arrested you on the roadside. The prosecution will look a the results from when you were breathalysed. This will inform them how intoxicated you were. Additional evidence from a doctor and forensic experts who have examined the blood sample would be used in your case if your blood was taken. 

People accused of drink driving often make many mistakes in that they think a case is over before it has started and so accept a guilty plea.

Going to court is a daunting experience, so speak to our drink driving lawyers even if you decide not to instruct them.