Arrested for drink driving? Get legal help now

Arrested for drink driving? Get legal help now

  • Leading motoring law specialists in England & Wales
  • Know your rights and act now
  • Free & confidential initial advice
Get a free callback from one of our motoring law experts now

How we can help you

  • We are experts in drink driving offences and identifying winning defences
  • We work with specialist barristers and forensic experts
  • We challenge police procedures and the breath test machine
  • We provide legal advice and support tailored to your budget

Call FREE 0800 160 1645 to talk to our motoring law experts now or

What our clients say about us

Lawrence - London
5 star rating

"Unbelievable work and result from Philip Somarakis and Loren Hills who saved me completely on two separate drink driving offences over 3 months, both which could have resulted in lengthy suspensions and heavy fines."

Chris - Essex
5 star rating

“Philip and the team were first rate. I cannot commend them enough.”

You need to act fast! You need to act fast!

If you have been unfairly accused of drink driving or failure to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine, our specialist drink driving solicitors can help.

Found guilty, the effect could be life-changing, with a heavy fine, a driving ban, increased insurance premium, loss of job and a criminal record.

Call FREE 0800 160 1645 to talk to our motoring law experts now or

One of our experts have been featured on

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How it works

We advise you

We will review your case and advise you on what happens next, the options available to you and the best course of action to take.

We build your case

We use our extensive experience to check if the police procedures were followed and challenge device calibrations using our network of forensic experts. 

We represent you

We work with the top drink driving barristers in the country and they will be attending court and representing you. Their specialist expertise is reflected in our exceptional success rates. 

Call FREE 0800 160 1645 to talk to our motoring law experts now or

Meet the team

Drink driving sentencing guidelines

The following guidelines are used by all courts across England and Wales when sentencing for a drink driving offence.  

Breath alcohol level (mg)
Blood alcohol level (mg)
Urine alcohol level (ml)
Starting point
Range
Disqualification (first offence)
Disqualification (2nd offence in 10 years)
36 - 59
81 - 137
108 - 183
Band C fine
Band C fine
12 - 16 Months
36 - 40 Months
60 - 89
138 - 206
184 - 274
Band C fine
Band C fine - Low level community order
17 - 22 Months
36 - 46 Months
90 - 119
207 - 275
275 - 366
Medium level community order
Low level community order - High level community order
23 - 28 Months
36 - 52 Months
120 - 150 and above
276 - 345 and above
367 - 459 and above
12 weeks custody
High level community order to 26 weeks custody
29 - 36 Months
36 - 60 Months

Avoid a driving ban, or worse, prison

Drivers stopped and breathalysed at a roadside by a police officer are likely to accept at face value the result of the test and conclude that they must have had too much to drink and therefore that they have been driving under the influence (DUI).

A person found guilty of driving or attempting to drive when over the alcohol limit may face up to 6 months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. The court must also impose a driving disqualification for a minimum of 12 months (3 years if it’s a second drink driving offence in the last 10 years).

However, drivers need not necessarily accept their guilt without challenge as in each drink driving case there are procedures and guidelines which the police must follow – failure to do so on the part of the police may invalidate a potential conviction.

By failing to seek quality legal advice from specialist drink driving solicitors, drivers lose any opportunity to defend their claim and are forced to accept the punishment issued by the court.

 

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Avoid a driving ban, or worse, prison

Pricing

Our motoring offences team has both the experience and expertise to get the best result for you. Very often, our clients approach us because of our successful track record.

Costs for matters relating to the following motoring offences will fall under one of two fee structures:

  1. Drink/Drug Driving
  2. Speeding/Using a mobile phone– Guilty Plea and facing disqualification
  3. Failing to Report or Stop After an Accident
  4. Careless Driving and Driving Without Due Care and Attention
  5. Dangerous Driving
  6. Document Offences – Driving without a licence, driving without an MOT, driving without tax, Failure to produce documents.
  7. Driving Without Insurance
  • Structure 1 – Entering a Guilty Plea

    There are two fixed fee options:

    1. Fixed fee of £950 plus VAT in addition to Counsel’s Fee if represented by a Barrister at Court hearing.
    2. Fixed fee of £2000 plus VAT if represented by Philip Somarakis at Court hearing.

    The above fees include the following:

    • Obtaining disclosure from CPS and Police (if relevant);
    • Taking a full statement of events from you at court;
    • Considering evidence;
    • Providing advice on likely sentence;
    • Completion and submission of any plea documentation;
    • Advising and assistance with mitigation /exceptional hardship documentation;
    • Instructing Counsel (if applicable).

    The above fees do not include:

    • Instructions of any expert witness
    • Taking statements from any witnesses
    • Advice and assistance in relation to a Special Reasons hearing
    • Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal

    Key stages of your matter (based on the presumption that you have decided to enter a Guilty plea and have a date for your hearing):

    • Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened.
    • We will consider initial disclosure and any other evidence and provide advice.
    • Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary (this will have an additional cost of £500 plus VAT)
    • We will explain the court procedure to you, so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.
    • We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.
    • We cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.
    • We/your barrister will attend court on the day and meet with you prior to going before the court. We anticipate being at court for half a day.
    • We/your barrister will discuss the outcome with you and will confirm the result in writing. 

    If advice on appeal is required, this will carry an additional cost.

    Typical disbursements inlclude:

    • Counsel for first hearing: typically in the region of £300 plus VAT and travel (dependent on experience and availability).

    Further disbursements:

    • Counsel Fee if not represented at Court by Philip Somarakis: estimated £150-£300 plus VAT and travel (dependent on experience and availability).
  • Fee Structure 2 – Not Guilty Plea or Guilty with Special Reasons

    Structure 2, Part 1 of 2: Fixed fees for the first hearing:

    There are two fixed fee options:

    1. Fixed fee of £950 plus VAT in addition to Counsel’s Fee if represented by a Barrister at Court hearing.
    2. Fixed fee of £2000 plus VAT if represented by Philip Somarakis at Court hearing.

    The above fees include:

    • Obtaining disclosure from CPS and Police (if relevant);
    • Taking a full statement of events from you at court;
    • Considering evidence;
    • Providing advice on likely sentence if found Guilty;
    • Providing advice on any Special Reasons argument;
    • Completion and submission of any plea documentation;
    • Advising on court procedure after First Hearing;
    • Instructing Counsel (if applicable).

    The above fees do not include:

    • Second Hearing or work related to any further case management hearings (inlcluding a CMH or PTR)
    • Special Reasons Hearing

    Structure 2, Part 2 of 2: Hourly Rate Fees in the region of £5,000 to £7,000 plus VAT and Counsel's Fee.

    The above fee includes:

    • Instructing an expert witness
    • Reviewing and serving expert evidence
    • Taking statements from any witnesses
    • Reviewing and serving witness evidence
    • Taking a formal statement of events from you
    • Advice and assistance with mitigation documentation
    • Instructing Counsel

    Fees do not include:

    • Preparation or advice in respect of interim hearings
    • Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal
    • Work related to any further case management hearings (including a CMH or PTR)
    • Any interim applications to the court
    • Any additional instructions from you or changes to instructions from you
    • Any issues caused or raised by disclosure, the evidence or CPS correspondence

    Key stages of your matter (based on the presumption that you have decided to enter a Guilty Plea on the basis of Special Reasons and have a date for your hearing) include:

    • Meet with your solicitor or speak by telephone to provide instructions on what happened.
    • We will consider initial disclosure and any other evidence and provide advice.
    • We will explain the court procedure to you, so you know what to expect on the day of your hearings.

    Please note the following:

    • We cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day. The Trial or Special Reasons hearing will be listed for a future date according to the court availability and your availability.
    • Should your case be adjourned or be listed for an interim hearing additional costs will apply.
    • We/your barrister will attend court on the day and meet with you prior to going before the court.
    • We/your barrister will discuss the outcome with you and will confirm the result in writing. If advice on appeal is required, this will carry an additional cost.

    Fees do not include:

    • Preparation or advice in respect of interim hearings
    • Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal
    • Work related to any further case management hearings (including a CMH or PTR)
    • Any interim applications to the court
    • Any additional instructions from you or changes to instructions from you
    • Any issues cased or raised by disclosure, the evidence or CPS correspondence

    Key stages of your matter (based on the presumption that you have decided to enter a Not Guilty Plea and have a date for your hearing):

    • Meet with your solicitor or speak by telephone to provide instructions on what happened.
    • We will consider initial disclosure and any other evidence and provide advice.
    • We will explain the court procedure to you, so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing.

    Please note the following:

    • We cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day. The Trial hearing will be listed for a future date according to the court availability and your availability.
    • Should your case be adjourned or be listed for an interim hearing additional costs will apply.
    • We/your barrister will attend court on the day and meet with you prior to going before the court.
    • We/your barrister will discuss the outcome with you and will confirm the result in writing. If advice on appeal is required, this will carry an additional cost.

    Typical Disbursements include:

    • Counsel for first hearing: typically in the region of £150-£300 plus VAT and travel (dependent on experience and availability).
    • Counsel for Trial/Special Reasons hearing: £1,500-£2,000 plus VAT and travel (dependent on availability).
    • Expert fee: £330-£1000 plus VAT per report (Dependent on case).
    For more information

    For more information about using our professional services for motor legal defence, please get in touch either by telephone, email or our website enquiry form. One of our team would be delighted to speak to you and provide you with a fixed fee bespoke to your needs.

Our top FAQ's

Our friendly team are always on hand to help. Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions below.

  • There are no set rules or guidelines on the exact alcohol consumption to ensure that you are below the limit. Alcohol limits vary for each person and this depends on a number of factors such as your height, weight, the period over which alcohol was consumed and the rate that your body metabolises alcohol.

  • You may be surprised to find that your reading from the breath test procedure states that you were over the limit, when you are 100% certain that you only had one single spirit and mixer to drink. Machines are not always reliable and for that reason we will obtain a mathematical calculation based upon the elimination of alcohol within your body to confirm what your exact alcohol limit should have been at the time of the breath test procedure. We will also investigate the whole procedure including your breath test procedure, your arrest and your detention at the police station. 

  • You may wish to plead guilty and have the matter over and done with as quickly as possible. However, a driving ban is not the only consequences you may face following a conviction of drink driving. For instance, you may lose your job should this be dependent on you driving, your car insurance will significantly increase and you may need to declare your conviction when traveling abroad. It is therefore important that you have a legal representative to deal with any mitigation to reduce your sentence. We are able to assist you at your sentencing hearing and persuade the court to offer you a lenient sentence following completion of the Drink Driving Rehabilitation Course.

  • Your driving record will be endorsed and your conviction will stay on your record for 11 years.

  • Possibly. If you are employed in a regulated industry or your employer carries out DBS checks, you may be under an obligation to disclose the pending prosecution or conviction to your employer. We often obtain advice from our Employment Department who have reviewed client’s employment contracts and advised on their duty to disclose.

  • Yes. If you are unhappy with the Magistrates’ Court’s decision, you have a right to appeal your conviction and/or sentence to the Crown Court within 21 days of being found guilty. We can then apply to the court to suspend your disqualification pending the appeal hearing which may be listed 4-6 months following your original conviction. You will therefore be able to drive during this time.

  • You may be prosecuted for being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

  • This is a complex area which will need to be dealt with in court. There may be a situation where you need to leave as a matter of urgency even though you have been drinking e.g. threat of death/serious injury or a medical emergency. Such extreme examples can be an absolute defence to drink driving due to duress of necessity leading to a discharge. However, the level that must be proved is high i.e. was there no access to a taxi or ambulance. More likely, where these circumstances do not meet this threshold, they become ‘special reasons’ where in the first instance, the court will find you guilty of an offence of drink driving. However, as your defence lawyers, we will put forward an argument. We will then ask the court to reconsider the normal punishment you may face and avoid the mandatory disqualification. 

  • You may find that you have to move your car from a hazardous parking space after you have consumed alcohol. This is a very difficult argument to put forward and the court does not look particularly favourably upon this. However, should there be a very good reason and you only drove a short distance, we could argue special reason for your conduct. 

  • If the police reasonably suspect that you are driving whilst being over the limit, they can require you to provide a breath specimen. However, generally the police cannot carry out random breath tests.