Driving or attempting to drive whilst unfit through drink
- Under section 4(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence for a person to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place whilst unfit to drive through drink.
Driving whilst unfit is a serious offence. If the police are alleging that you were unfit, it is crucial that you consider your options prior to the first court hearing, as it is possible that you have been charged with the wrong offence. Due to the similarities between driving whilst unfit and drink driving, the police often get confused between the two. If you provided a breath, blood or urine sample over the prescribed limit at the police station, you should be charged with drink driving, not driving whilst unfit.
Of course, it is always open to the police to charge you with driving whilst unfit even where an evidential sample has been provided. But there is little sense in doing this as it is much harder to prove that you were ‘impaired’ than proving that you were over the limit. In the majority of cases that M.A.J. Law defend, the CPS will realise the mistake made by the police and attempt to amend the charge to drink driving. However, this may not be as simple as it sounds, particularly if trying to amend a charge after the first court hearing. An inaccurate or defective charge can lead to a failed prosecution, so it is crucial that we don’t ‘tip’ the CPS off.
If you think you may have been charged with the wrong offence, please call us immediately. The earlier the team at M.A.J. Law can intervene, the earlier we can safeguard your position and identify the defence strategy.