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Three Ways to Avoid a Drink Driving Ban | Legal Advice

Conor Johnstone
23 August 2016


The purpose of this video is to discuss the three most common ways to avoid a drink driving disqualification. If you have been charged with drink driving, it is a very serious offence, it is a criminal conviction, and it is always in your interests to consider the options open to you. M.A.J. Law are always happy to discuss those options with you, completely free of charge.

The first way that you can avoid a disqualification for drink driving is by finding fault with the evidence against you. The most important document that we need to check is the MGDDA document. That stands for the Manual Guidance for Drink Drive pro-forma A. The MGDDA document guides the officer through the important questions and legal warnings he should be giving to you before he can legally take that specimen from you. The MGDDA document needs to be completed during the evidential breath test procedure. That’s the procedure that takes place at the police station. If the officer fails to complete the MGDDA document with you,the CPS may not be able to use the breath readings against you.

As for the reasons why an officer may fail to complete the MGDDA document, drink driving is a time-sensitive offence. Any alcohol present in your system will rapidly reduce as time passes. That can be a huge concern for any officer wanting to get the highest breath reading from you, particularly if your roadside reading was between 40 and 50 micrograms.

The second way that you can avoid a disqualification for drink driving is by taking advantage of the way the prosecution deal with these cases. If we enter a not guilty plea in the first appearance, we then trigger what is known as further disclosure. That means the prosecution have to provide all the outstanding evidence against you, usually within 28 days. In 90% of cases that we deal with as a firm, the prosecution will fail to serve the evidence within that 28 day period. We win anywhere from 60 – 70% of these cases as a direct result of the prosecution not making all the evidence available to us within the correct time limits.

The third way that you can avoid a disqualification for drink driving is by successfully arguing a special reasons argument. In order to raise a special reason you have to enter a guilty plea to the allegation. You have to accept that the offence has been committed, but the circumstances are such that you shouldn’t receive the full length of the disqualification, or indeed any disqualification whatsoever. The three most common special reasons arguments are spiked drinks, shortness of distance driven and reflux.

If you’d like any more information about the points I’ve raised today, you can go onto our website, you’ll find resources, case studies, there is lots of information relating to drink driving offences. We’re always happy to give free legal advice over the phone.

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