Evidential Test 0.35mg/l, yet roadside 0.51mg/l - Unfit through drink charge

Convicted Driver Insurance

swiftwoshi

New member
Greetings DD,
In late August I was stopped by a marked police car doing 120mph on the motorway at 2 AM, dry conditions and empty motorway.
I immediately complied with the officer and stopped my car quickly and safely, the officer ordered me out of the vehicle and told me to blow a roadside test, I blew 0.51mg/l and was sent to the station for an evidential breath test of 0.35mg/l.

The charge(s) attributed to me are:
- S4. - Driving Whilst unfit through drink (no level declared on the summons letter);
- Reg3 - Exceeding the speed limit on a motorway (no speed declared);

I've paid a solicitor to review the case but was disappointed to hear that she felt it was extremely clear cut for the CPS and there is nothing that can be done to dispute the charge, as the police will be able to easily prove unfitness via referring to my roadside reading (I thought this could not be used as evidence in court?), she also mentioned I could easily be charged with Dangerous Driving on the facts alone (there is very brief mention by the police officer of me switching lanes to overtake a vehicle).

I know that my demeanour when stopped and taken to the station was exceptional, I was disappointed not to see any mention of this in the IDPC, as I do feel genuine remorse for the whole situation.

My questions are:
-Is the speeding and roadside breath of 0.51 mg/l enough to prove unfitness to drive or is this a charge that appears disputable in any way?
-I have 0 previous convictions, no points on my licence and this is my first arrest, I'll be providing 3 character references, what am I realistically looking at in terms of a sentence?
-Will having a solicitor representing me on a guilty plea affect my overall sentencing, would it make a massive difference? Financially it has been a difficult year for me.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Martin Hammond

Solicitor
Good afternoon,

To answer your questions.

In my opinion the roadside breath tests are not enough and are often uncalibrated, so I think the charge is harsh and is potentially defendable. However, I do agree that you would have to be careful with the potential of a dangerous driving charge, although overtaking whilst speeding would not necessarily be enough to convict of dangerous driving.

Sentence wise, I think on an unfit with that level of speeding you would likely be looking at up to two years disqualification potentially as whilst the unfit charge with low roadside reading would usually be around the 12 to 16 months mark, I think the speeding will take it up.

Having a specialist road traffic solicitor will make a massive difference in Court in my opinion as we can explain to the Court how type approval works with breath test machines and can give mitigation to reduce the sentence.

I hope this helps
Martin.
 

swiftwoshi

New member
Thanks Martin for the quick reply, your time is appreciated.

As I thought, I was quite surprised to find out when my solicitor told me it can be used as concrete evidence in court, especially when no back calculation is intended to be performed (although I do understand the presumption of being over the limit at the time I was stopped is there).

The speed is also not clearly outlined, the police officer mentions two instances of 110mph and 120mph, leaving it unclear.

On and end note, do you happen to know which reading will be read at court?

Thanks.
 

swiftwoshi

New member
I understand Martin, although I was actually referring to the alcohol reading but in all honesty I presume CPS will obviously see no benefit in mentioning my 0.35mg/l charge.
Yes, it would be great to discuss this in detail.
Kind regards.
 
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