Advise needed please

Convicted Driver Insurance

Tracy77

Member
Hi, I’m a very scared 45 year old with no criminal record or driving convictions. I was charged with drunk driving on Saturday night
Followed an argument with my boyfriend who
Left me alone to make my way home. Dark late night. Extremely stupid me thought I was k to drive. Very little food that day. Resulted in blowing 79 in the breathe test.

My parents will attend court with me. They are very disappointed but said will always stand by me as they know how awful my narcissistic ex boyfriend can be. I’m just wondering should I instruct a lawyer and or character witness?

Thank you in advance
Tracy
 

Sundog

Well-known member
Hi there Tracy

Firstly, don't feel so bad. We've all been there, and it's OK to feel this way. It will get better, when you're ready to start letting it. But one step at a time. :)

Firstly, many would say no need for a lawyer. I shelled out a small sum for one, but I needn't have; comparing my story to tales on here. The Duty Solicitor on the day has handled these a million times before, and will do just as good a job - with the added bonus of court familiarity virtually assured. Unless there are some mitigating circumstances, which it doesn't sound as if there are (other than having a **** for a boyfriend but sadly that's quite inadmissible), and fair play to you for admitting that... many don't... or blame this or that, I'd say go to the DS, plead guilty, and get on with a life that will forgive you.

References - great idea. Get two or three of the most unbiased and glowing ones - from a professional or two if you can (judges/mags are all snobs and respect letters after names). They do read them, mine were read out in court.

Other than that, the good news is 79 is below 87, which is the HRO threshold (which I was). Not only is that a sentencing jump, but it opens up a whooOOOOOOOOOOooole new can of worms in getting license back which you won't have to worry about. Just plead guilty, get around 15-18mos for good character and a small fine if you're 'economical' on your statement of truth, :), and you'll be back on the road in that less 25%. And it's really not so bad... daunting yes. Unbearable? No way. Not compared to other shit I've seen.

But we are all here to help meanwhile, OK? This place is a brilliant source of info, advice or just to sound off into, so you did well finding us. :)

Take care :D
 

jamesbrown1

Well-known member
Unless u have money to burn, I'd be inclined not to. Sounds pretty cut and dried, just dress smartly, get some reference letters if u can. You won't be classed HRO so won't have to go through all the additional hoops to get your licence returned. Oh and don't forget to ask for the dd course this will reduce your ban by 25%.. Very best of luck.
 

Dinlo

Well-known member
Hi, I’m a very scared 45 year old with no criminal record or driving convictions. I was charged with drunk driving on Saturday night
Followed an argument with my boyfriend who
Left me alone to make my way home. Dark late night. Extremely stupid me thought I was k to drive. Very little food that day. Resulted in blowing 79 in the breathe test.

My parents will attend court with me. They are very disappointed but said will always stand by me as they know how awful my narcissistic ex boyfriend can be. I’m just wondering should I instruct a lawyer and or character witness?

Thank you in advance
Tracy
First thing, don't make excuses or try to mitigate your actions in any way. How much food you ate is irrelevant, it has no bearing on the amount of alcohol you drank, you were over twice the legal limit so you'd had a fair few.

As others have said, be honest, be remorseful and plead guilty. Take the punishment and accept that things could have been a lot worse, you didn't kill or injure anyone so just accept that you and you alone made the decision to drive knowing that you'd had too much to drink. You didn't have to drive, there are always alternatives so trying to convince a court otherwise is an exercise in futility.

Losing your licence is incredibly daunting at first but you soon get used to it and find ways to manage without it, the biggest issue is dealing with the stigma of being a convicted drink driver, that's something most people find more difficult to deal with.
 

Tracy77

Member
First thing, don't make excuses or try to mitigate your actions in any way. How much food you ate is irrelevant, it has no bearing on the amount of alcohol you drank, you were over twice the legal limit so you'd had a fair few.

As others have said, be honest, be remorseful and plead guilty. Take the punishment and accept that things could have been a lot worse, you didn't kill or injure anyone so just accept that you and you alone made the decision to drive knowing that you'd had too much to drink. You didn't have to drive, there are always alternatives so trying to convince a court otherwise is an exercise in futility.

Losing your licence is incredibly daunting at first but you soon get used to it and find ways to manage without it, the biggest issue is dealing with the stigma of being a convicted drink driver, that's something most people find more difficult to deal with.
Thank you
 

Tracy77

Member
Hi there Tracy

Firstly, don't feel so bad. We've all been there, and it's OK to feel this way. It will get better, when you're ready to start letting it. But one step at a time. :)

Firstly, many would say no need for a lawyer. I shelled out a small sum for one, but I needn't have; comparing my story to tales on here. The Duty Solicitor on the day has handled these a million times before, and will do just as good a job - with the added bonus of court familiarity virtually assured. Unless there are some mitigating circumstances, which it doesn't sound as if there are (other than having a **** for a boyfriend but sadly that's quite inadmissible), and fair play to you for admitting that... many don't... or blame this or that, I'd say go to the DS, plead guilty, and get on with a life that will forgive you.

References - great idea. Get two or three of the most unbiased and glowing ones - from a professional or two if you can (judges/mags are all snobs and respect letters after names). They do read them, mine were read out in court.

Other than that, the good news is 79 is below 87, which is the HRO threshold (which I was). Not only is that a sentencing jump, but it opens up a whooOOOOOOOOOOooole new can of worms in getting license back which you won't have to worry about. Just plead guilty, get around 15-18mos for good character and a small fine if you're 'economical' on your statement of truth, :), and you'll be back on the road in that less 25%. And it's really not so bad... daunting yes. Unbearable? No way. Not compared to other shit I've seen.

But we are all here to help meanwhile, OK? This place is a brilliant source of info, advice or just to sound off into, so you did well finding us. :)

Take care :D
Thank you so much
 

Paul W

Well-known member
Hi Tracy, When I got arrested I felt my world had caved in - thats normal. I dreaded the court appearance and ran through so many awful scenarios - thats normal. I replayed everything in my head a 1000 times thinking what should i have done differently - thats normal.

Eventually you will get the court date done and then it becomes easier - its the fear of the unknown that scares people most - yep thats normal.

As you are not classed as HRO the process to get a licence back should be much simpler and believe me when I say that you do learn to adapt without a car. As wiser people than me have said, dress smart, show remorse, tell them you realise a licence is a privilege not a right etc (yes sucking up does help) and don't forget the important things in life - this is just a learning experience.

Good luck and if you ever feel down or like ranting - jump on here for a few "dad jokes" :)
 

Tracy77

Member
Haha thank you. I love a good dad joke.

Everything you said makes so much sense. My thoughts include will they send me to prison I’m so scared. I will definitely be attending in a professional work suit and with my parents for support. I’m 45 but feel like a kid again it’s awful.

My car is on PCP so I need to sort that side of things out but guess will wait to see how long the sentence is for.

Gosh what a mess, that’s me done with drinking. I don’t even like the stuff and only drink when out which isn’t that often.

Thanks again take care
 

Paul W

Well-known member
Haha thank you. I love a good dad joke.

Everything you said makes so much sense. My thoughts include will they send me to prison I’m so scared. I will definitely be attending in a professional work suit and with my parents for support. I’m 45 but feel like a kid again it’s awful.

My car is on PCP so I need to sort that side of things out but guess will wait to see how long the sentence is for.

Gosh what a mess, that’s me done with drinking. I don’t even like the stuff and only drink when out which isn’t that often.

Thanks again take care
Hi Tracy - if everything you have said is true you will NOT go to prison so get that thought out of your head young lady! (unless of course you walk into court with offensive weapons and set alight to the magistrates!)

There is a thread on here somewhere which will show you the sentencing guidelines that Magistrates adhere to. I think it can be found here.. https://www.drinkdriving.org/drink_driving_sentencing_guidelines.php

and stop worrying - you are 1 of around 30,000 people convicted each year. Its not clever and it is stupid but we have all been there and learned a life lesson.

DAD JOKE ALERT -
  • Did you hear about the racing snail who got rid of his shell? He thought it would make him faster, but it just made him sluggish.
 

Sundog

Well-known member
This place as good as invented the Dad joke.

In fact, when the TV channel ‘Dave’ was incepted, I bet one of them had a login on here and said “yeah, we should be like that place”.

Have another Dad joke since Paul has started :D: I used moisturiser this morning, but I’m apparently already 70% made of water. Let that sink in.
 

Georgee

Member
Hi, I’m a very scared 45 year old with no criminal record or driving convictions. I was charged with drunk driving on Saturday night
Followed an argument with my boyfriend who
Left me alone to make my way home. Dark late night. Extremely stupid me thought I was k to drive. Very little food that day. Resulted in blowing 79 in the breathe test.

My parents will attend court with me. They are very disappointed but said will always stand by me as they know how awful my narcissistic ex boyfriend can be. I’m just wondering should I instruct a lawyer and or character witness?

Thank you in advance
Tracy
Hi Tracy

Your story sounds very much like my own and others here have also given you some good advice. Its a horrible situation and you must feel very upset, especially given the circumstances. I solicitor may be able to help argue some mitigating factors to reduce the extent of the punishment, but I think its going to be a foregone conclusion that you will get at least a 12 month ban.

Someone else in reply to your post made the point that you will learn to adapt and cope and the raw pain you have now will begin to fade. However, it does hurt inside and so you will have all kinds of feelings. For me its the shame of having done this (twice in my case) and all the ramifications that go with it.

The first time I was banned I remember how I thought: there is no way I will ever do this again. What I didnt do then was to look at my whole life: why was I in the awful relationship I was in; why I 'needed' to drink - why i needed to escape my reality. Because I didnt fix that, little by little I went back to my old habits - which culminated in a total collapse of my relationship, change of house, lost job and so on.

Anyway, I would get a solicitor to represent you if you can afford it and have a character witness statement or two - it cant hurt.

Best of luck
 

Georgee

Member
Hi there Tracy

Firstly, don't feel so bad. We've all been there, and it's OK to feel this way. It will get better, when you're ready to start letting it. But one step at a time. :)

Firstly, many would say no need for a lawyer. I shelled out a small sum for one, but I needn't have; comparing my story to tales on here. The Duty Solicitor on the day has handled these a million times before, and will do just as good a job - with the added bonus of court familiarity virtually assured. Unless there are some mitigating circumstances, which it doesn't sound as if there are (other than having a **** for a boyfriend but sadly that's quite inadmissible), and fair play to you for admitting that... many don't... or blame this or that, I'd say go to the DS, plead guilty, and get on with a life that will forgive you.

References - great idea. Get two or three of the most unbiased and glowing ones - from a professional or two if you can (judges/mags are all snobs and respect letters after names). They do read them, mine were read out in court.

Other than that, the good news is 79 is below 87, which is the HRO threshold (which I was). Not only is that a sentencing jump, but it opens up a whooOOOOOOOOOOooole new can of worms in getting license back which you won't have to worry about. Just plead guilty, get around 15-18mos for good character and a small fine if you're 'economical' on your statement of truth, :), and you'll be back on the road in that less 25%. And it's really not so bad... daunting yes. Unbearable? No way. Not compared to other shit I've seen.

But we are all here to help meanwhile, OK? This place is a brilliant source of info, advice or just to sound off into, so you did well finding us. :)

Take care :D
This is so true! This forum does help.
 

Guygibson

Well-known member
Hi Tracy

Your story sounds very much like my own and others here have also given you some good advice. Its a horrible situation and you must feel very upset, especially given the circumstances. I solicitor may be able to help argue some mitigating factors to reduce the extent of the punishment, but I think its going to be a foregone conclusion that you will get at least a 12 month ban.

Someone else in reply to your post made the point that you will learn to adapt and cope and the raw pain you have now will begin to fade. However, it does hurt inside and so you will have all kinds of feelings. For me its the shame of having done this (twice in my case) and all the ramifications that go with it.

The first time I was banned I remember how I thought: there is no way I will ever do this again. What I didnt do then was to look at my whole life: why was I in the awful relationship I was in; why I 'needed' to drink - why i needed to escape my reality. Because I didnt fix that, little by little I went back to my old habits - which culminated in a total collapse of my relationship, change of house, lost job and so on.

Anyway, I would get a solicitor to represent you if you can afford it and have a character witness statement or two - it cant hurt.

Best of luck
Don't get a solicitor save your money you will get banned a fine and thats it life goes on next thing you know your bans up and your applying for your licence back ✌
 

WinterSnow

Well-known member
Tracy; please stay in touch. This site is amazing. Your error of judgment does not define you. The advice given above is perfect and there is nothing I can add. You are NOT a bad person just someone who made a bad decision. Try to be kind to yourself please and that is a must. Parental disapproval at any age is the hardest but I’m sure they have made wrong choices too. Stay strong, make the best of it and come out wiser and stronger.
I wish you all the very best xx
 

JamesH2122

Well-known member
Assuming you are in England or Wales, you are looking at about a 19 month ban or so, reduced to about 15 if you are offered, accept and take the DD awareness course.
 

Gilln1

Well-known member
Some really good advice here, and it has been mentioned before but worth re-iterating anyway.....when you are in court make you either you (if you do it alone) or whoever represents you, asks for the Drink Driving course. It has to be done at the time, it cannot be done retrospectively. Doing that will knock 25% off your sentence so it makes a huge difference.

Back in May 2021 I blew 76 so not all the different to you. Most of us here know that thought of feeling like your world has come crashing down around you, but it will get better. For me (and many others), once court is out of the way things brighten up a little and you get on with your ban....and remember, unless you do something stupid, a ban is only temporary, you will be back on the road.

As this is your first offence then you will not be classed as and HRO so that's good. No one was hurt, nothing damaged, it was a bad / silly mistake, so although I don't want to make light of what you / we did, its not the end of the world.

I actually went all out and paid for a solicitor at the time, it cost me a fair chunk of cash and if I had a crystal ball at the time I may have decided not to bother, I don't regret it, as I was way out of my depth. It was good to have someone experienced in my corner. To be honest though if you are going to plead guilty and there are no other factors that could cause you angst on the day, then you will do just as well with the DS I suspect, or even on your own.

You will always find a a sympathetic ear here in these forums so please use it if you need to, and if you feel you can then let the forum know how you get on, which will help others in future.

Wish you luck !
 

Sundog

Well-known member
Some really good advice here, and it has been mentioned before but worth re-iterating anyway.....when you are in court make you either you (if you do it alone) or whoever represents you, asks for the Drink Driving course. It has to be done at the time, it cannot be done retrospectively. Doing that will knock 25% off your sentence so it makes a huge difference.

Back in May 2021 I blew 76 so not all the different to you. Most of us here know that thought of feeling like your world has come crashing down around you, but it will get better. For me (and many others), once court is out of the way things brighten up a little and you get on with your ban....and remember, unless you do something stupid, a ban is only temporary, you will be back on the road.

As this is your first offence then you will not be classed as and HRO so that's good. No one was hurt, nothing damaged, it was a bad / silly mistake, so although I don't want to make light of what you / we did, its not the end of the world.

I actually went all out and paid for a solicitor at the time, it cost me a fair chunk of cash and if I had a crystal ball at the time I may have decided not to bother, I don't regret it, as I was way out of my depth. It was good to have someone experienced in my corner. To be honest though if you are going to plead guilty and there are no other factors that could cause you angst on the day, then you will do just as well with the DS I suspect, or even on your own.

You will always find a a sympathetic ear here in these forums so please use it if you need to, and if you feel you can then let the forum know how you get on, which will help others in future.

Wish you luck !
I also paid for a solicitor, think about £500-600+VAT in the end. The peace of mind was worth it and the result OK, but I guess I have to admit the end result would most probably have been the same with the DS.
 

Bluberry

Well-known member
Hi, I’m a very scared 45 year old with no criminal record or driving convictions. I was charged with drunk driving on Saturday night
Followed an argument with my boyfriend who
Left me alone to make my way home. Dark late night. Extremely stupid me thought I was k to drive. Very little food that day. Resulted in blowing 79 in the breathe test.

My parents will attend court with me. They are very disappointed but said will always stand by me as they know how awful my narcissistic ex boyfriend can be. I’m just wondering should I instruct a lawyer and or character witness?

Thank you in advance
Tracy
Hi Tracy, I felt like you - mortified, ashamed, how will I get around, what will happen with work. The run up to court I was super anxious but it was actually alright. Weirdly I felt really relieved and happy when I came out (go figure). I bought a bike…hadn’t been on one since I was a kid. I wobbled out of Halfords like a kid who’d just had their stabilisers taken off for the first time thinking “how can I do this for 15 months” but now I’m whizzing around the streets like a pro come rain or shine chuckling at the peeps stuck in the traffic queues I’m zooming past. I’m a LOT fitter too. Do the Rehabilitation course, it’s actually really good and you learn a lot. Fess up to your work if you have a job where you need a DBS - honestly goes a long way with them. These are the things I’ve learnt from this experience….apart from to reasses my life and figure out how I got here and what needs to change to never be here again. In a funny way it can have a lot of positives - every cloud 🙂
 

Gilln1

Well-known member
I also paid for a solicitor, think about £500-600+VAT in the end. The peace of mind was worth it and the result OK, but I guess I have to admit the end result would most probably have been the same with the DS.
As I said, I dont regret it. Actually when I was in court the solicitor picked up on something quite vital that the prosecution said incorrectly. I noticed it too but not sure I would have had the confidence to have raised it at the time, and there was way no I could have read out one of my 'references', which was a very emotional one from my partner at the time....nearly broke my heart that did ! So it was money well spent....sort of 😄
 
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