Girlfriend caught drink driving(blew 67)- what sentence is she looking at?

Convicted Driver Insurance

SamL94

Member
So my girlfriend was caught drink driving a couple of weeks back, we are worried sick about how she will be charged, especially me who is a massive worryer and have even had prison in my head 😭

To explain what happened, she was at a glamping weekend with her work colleagues (mostly girls) and the Sat night was basically them all getting drunk. About 1am as they started going to bed one of her friends said to my partner she was ‘really cold’ and wanted to go sit in her car with the heaters on.. so they both got in this girls car (my partner in passenger seat) and this girl turned the engine on.. then after a few minutes this girl started going on about how easy the car is to drive (she’d only just got it) and then asked my partner if she wanted a go driving it! My partner stupidly said yes and so they swapped positions so she got in the driver seat.

she then drove it out of the car park and up a quiet country lane for 0.4 miles on to a main road.. as soon as she got on to the main road there just so happened to be a police car filling up at a Spar petrol station.. they clocked the car straight away and obviously thought why are 2 young girls out at this time, so pulled them over.

Breathalised my girlfriend and she blew 67.. so arrested her and she spent the night in a cell with a court date in October.

I wasn’t with her this night but she told me the next day and she can’t believe how stupid she was.. she’s usually the one telling me not to drive after even 1 pint and even stopped one of her friends driving after a few the other week.. so she can’t believe how stupid she has now been!

she has been charged on a count of drink driving but also a 2nd count of driving without insurance as it was this other girls car.

Aggrevating factors are the fact she blew nearly double the drink drive limit.. also the fact she had a passenger and that she wasn’t insured on the car.

‘better’ factors are that this is her 1st time offence, she also has a clean licence after 2.5years or driving (no points etc).. she also wasn’t driving erratically, she only went a short distance.. there was no accident or incident, and she complied with the police fully.

Realistically I’m thinking it will be a hefty fine and 17-22months ban due to what she blew.. she’s mainly worried that she may have to do her driving test again after the ban, and like I say there is a small sickening feeling on my mind of prison.. any thoughts from people like you guys who know better would be appreciated!
 

Polly3

Well-known member
So my girlfriend was caught drink driving a couple of weeks back, we are worried sick about how she will be charged, especially me who is a massive worryer and have even had prison in my head 😭

To explain what happened, she was at a glamping weekend with her work colleagues (mostly girls) and the Sat night was basically them all getting drunk. About 1am as they started going to bed one of her friends said to my partner she was ‘really cold’ and wanted to go sit in her car with the heaters on.. so they both got in this girls car (my partner in passenger seat) and this girl turned the engine on.. then after a few minutes this girl started going on about how easy the car is to drive (she’d only just got it) and then asked my partner if she wanted a go driving it! My partner stupidly said yes and so they swapped positions so she got in the driver seat.

she then drove it out of the car park and up a quiet country lane for 0.4 miles on to a main road.. as soon as she got on to the main road there just so happened to be a police car filling up at a Spar petrol station.. they clocked the car straight away and obviously thought why are 2 young girls out at this time, so pulled them over.

Breathalised my girlfriend and she blew 67.. so arrested her and she spent the night in a cell with a court date in October.

I wasn’t with her this night but she told me the next day and she can’t believe how stupid she was.. she’s usually the one telling me not to drive after even 1 pint and even stopped one of her friends driving after a few the other week.. so she can’t believe how stupid she has now been!

she has been charged on a count of drink driving but also a 2nd count of driving without insurance as it was this other girls car.

Aggrevating factors are the fact she blew nearly double the drink drive limit.. also the fact she had a passenger and that she wasn’t insured on the car.

‘better’ factors are that this is her 1st time offence, she also has a clean licence after 2.5years or driving (no points etc).. she also wasn’t driving erratically, she only went a short distance.. there was no accident or incident, and she complied with the police fully.

Realistically I’m thinking it will be a hefty fine and 17-22months ban due to what she blew.. she’s mainly worried that she may have to do her driving test again after the ban, and like I say there is a small sickening feeling on my mind of prison.. any thoughts from people like you guys who know better would be appreciated!
Others on here are far more informed than me, but I think that I can say with certainty that prison will not be a consideration at all.
 

jamesbrown1

Active member
As Polly3 stated, 99% prison wont be on the cards and your estimate is probably pretty accurate, the 'no insurance' thing may push that up a little. Either way I'm sure Price will be along soon to give you the full low-down on what to expect.
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
So my girlfriend was caught drink driving a couple of weeks back, we are worried sick about how she will be charged, especially me who is a massive worryer and have even had prison in my head 😭

To explain what happened, she was at a glamping weekend with her work colleagues (mostly girls) and the Sat night was basically them all getting drunk. About 1am as they started going to bed one of her friends said to my partner she was ‘really cold’ and wanted to go sit in her car with the heaters on.. so they both got in this girls car (my partner in passenger seat) and this girl turned the engine on.. then after a few minutes this girl started going on about how easy the car is to drive (she’d only just got it) and then asked my partner if she wanted a go driving it! My partner stupidly said yes and so they swapped positions so she got in the driver seat.

she then drove it out of the car park and up a quiet country lane for 0.4 miles on to a main road.. as soon as she got on to the main road there just so happened to be a police car filling up at a Spar petrol station.. they clocked the car straight away and obviously thought why are 2 young girls out at this time, so pulled them over.

Breathalised my girlfriend and she blew 67.. so arrested her and she spent the night in a cell with a court date in October.

I wasn’t with her this night but she told me the next day and she can’t believe how stupid she was.. she’s usually the one telling me not to drive after even 1 pint and even stopped one of her friends driving after a few the other week.. so she can’t believe how stupid she has now been!

she has been charged on a count of drink driving but also a 2nd count of driving without insurance as it was this other girls car.

Aggrevating factors are the fact she blew nearly double the drink drive limit.. also the fact she had a passenger and that she wasn’t insured on the car.

‘better’ factors are that this is her 1st time offence, she also has a clean licence after 2.5years or driving (no points etc).. she also wasn’t driving erratically, she only went a short distance.. there was no accident or incident, and she complied with the police fully.

Realistically I’m thinking it will be a hefty fine and 17-22months ban due to what she blew.. she’s mainly worried that she may have to do her driving test again after the ban, and like I say there is a small sickening feeling on my mind of prison.. any thoughts from people like you guys who know better would be appreciated!
She won't get a prison sentence. Put that out of your mind. I have been caught twice with readings of 124 and 96 and didn't get prison. She will get a fine, a ban between 12 - 24 months and possibly Community Service.

Just tell her to plead guilty express sorry, explain how stupid she was and glad that no one was injured.
 

Quackaday

New member
I can't see it being anymore than a 12-16 month ban, reduced if she asks/is offered s course.
Upto £200 fine.
Certainly take prison out your mind :)
 

C J 1980

Well-known member
Sam

Welcome to the forum.

As your girlfriend blew 67 she will not fall into the High Risk Offender category so this is something to be thankful for.

I would guess a reading of 67 would result in a ban of around 17-22 months, which can be reduced by 25% if your girlfriend does the drink driving reduction course. Therefore, worst case scenario is 16 months off the road.

She will just get a ban and a fine. There will be a victim surcharge and court cost to pay aswell (if she pleads guilty at the first appearance) - these are around £85 each.

She will not get any sanctions like community service, a curfew, a prison sentence or suspended sentence because it is her first offence and her reading does not pass the threshold of severe punishment.

The no insurance charge is 'by the by' and will just be incorporated within the ban so she won't necessarily get any additional punishment for this.

From what you have told us - there are no aggravating factors here. There has been no collision, no harm has come to anyone and there has been no damage to property. Seems a pretty straightforward case.

I hope this advice helps.

CJ
 

SamL94

Member
Thanks all- that puts my mind at rest a tad.

In terms of a solicitor, would you recommend that she requires one or not? She is adamant she wants one only because she can be quite a nervous person talking sometimes and doesn’t want to say anything wrong or forget to say something if it’s all down to her.

She rung the police station to talk about a duty solicitor but they seemed to be quite confused about it all and couldn’t really offer her one.
 

BigTom

Well-known member
Thanks all- that puts my mind at rest a tad.

In terms of a solicitor, would you recommend that she requires one or not? She is adamant she wants one only because she can be quite a nervous person talking sometimes and doesn’t want to say anything wrong or forget to say something if it’s all down to her.

She rung the police station to talk about a duty solicitor but they seemed to be quite confused about it all and couldn’t really offer her one.
Sam

A general Solicitor can be obtained locally for a cost of around £300. It can help with mitigation and with those who are nervous to speak for themselves. Don't let her get led into obtaining a specialist solicitor who will fill her head with impossible scenarios that will never come to fruition. They can cost £10,000+ and are generally no better than a local general Solicitor.

Not really down to the Police to talk about duty solicitors, they 'may' be available on the day in court, however sometimes if they have more important cases, you are left without representation.
 

jamesbrown1

Active member
Big Tom is spot on, in my case all I was asked to say was to confirm who I was and to answer a query from the magistrate on my income, all the rest was pretty much a well practised routine. A solicitor might be able to get a slightly reduced ban, but there are pretty solid guidelines which are rarely deviated from. Depends on your other half's disposable income I guess.
 

XDeepRemorseX

Active member
Hi Sam,

Like others have said, a prison sentence is definitely not on the cards. She might be lucky and get between a 12-16 month driving ban which I believe are guidelines for someone who has a breath reading of 69 and under. This can be reduced further after completion of a drink driving course. (This will have to be mentioned in court, as she will not have the option to request it later).

I paid £600 for a local solicitor, which like you and your girlfriend, was panicking about the thought of prison. Although, if I had read this forum before my court date, I may not have bothered as it was a pretty straight forward process. I blew 85 (just under the threshold of a HRO) and collided with a roundabout causing serious damage to my car, no other vehicles were involved thankfully. I was given a 17 month driving ban, reduced to 13 months after completing the course and a £580 fine.
 

price1367

TTC Group
SamL94,
CJ1980 has summarised what will happen well.

Just to add a couple of points from things that you raised:
The duty solicitor is not something that you pre arrange. Turn up on the day and ask to speak to him / her.They have to prioritise their work, so if there are a few burglars etc appearing, they will take precedence over your girlfriend.

The duty solicitor may be too busy to help.
The duty solicitor may have time to offer advice but not able to go in to court to speak up for her.
The duty solicitor may be able to give advice AND go in to court to speak for her.

Best thing she can do is to write down what she wants to say, to read out if she cannot get the duty solicitor. (refer to the magistrates as ‘your worships’ when she addresses them, or ‘sir or madam’ if it is a district judge on their own)

Try to get a couple of written references from work and someone of some standing in the community (not a relative) to hand in. (Some courts are asking for them to be read out, rather than handed in. (covid fears!)

The no insurance will aggravate the offence, but it will not results in points on her licence. Consequently, unless she has only passes her test a few weeks before, she is most unlikely to be ordered to resit her test. (The 6 points in the first 2 years do not apply in her case. No points for drink driving, just a ban, and no points for the no insurance because the ban takes precedence over points.

If she can get the duty solicitor, it might be worth asking if they could try negotiating a cheeky not guilty plea threat to the no insurance with the prosecutor and see if that offence is dropped…….. will make little difference to the outcome in court but is one less offence to disclose for insurance purposes over the next 5 years.
 

SamL94

Member
Thanks guys for all the posts.

She’s been ringing a few solicitors as she’s adamant she wants one as she thinks she will be too nervous to make all the points that she needs to in court (clean licence, asking for a course to knock off 25%, etc). She’s also not sure what to do in terms of preparing documents etc without a solicitor.

Anyway she’s spoke to one today who said that if she pleads not guilty there’s an 80% chance they will scrap the charge as police are busy etc and they’d have to do 2 reports.. and even if she was still found guilty the punishment wouldn’t be any worse? She is slightly considering it but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

what do you guys think, both on her needing a solicitor and this not guilty option?
 

Polly3

Well-known member
Thanks guys for all the posts.

She’s been ringing a few solicitors as she’s adamant she wants one as she thinks she will be too nervous to make all the points that she needs to in court (clean licence, asking for a course to knock off 25%, etc). She’s also not sure what to do in terms of preparing documents etc without a solicitor.

Anyway she’s spoke to one today who said that if she pleads not guilty there’s an 80% chance they will scrap the charge as police are busy etc and they’d have to do 2 reports.. and even if she was still found guilty the punishment wouldn’t be any worse? She is slightly considering it but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

what do you guys think, both on her needing a solicitor and this not guilty option?
Mmmmmm……. Did this optimistic solicitor say how much he/ she would charge to represent your girlfriend in her NG plea ? He is right that the punishment wouldn’t be any greater but she would lose any early guilty plea discounts , plus it would be hanging over her for longer . Did he indicate why the case would be dropped apart from suggesting the police may not be bothered to continue ? Eg did he see any flaws in process ? In terms of building a case , drink drive is quite straightforward, as the facts speak for themselves, so I can’t think it’s a good idea to rely on this solicitors anticipated scenario ( 80% scenario… why 80 , I wonder ?!!) . I’m not trying to be scathing about you or your girlfriend , far from it, but this advice sounds suspect, unless of course the basis of the NG plea is sound . Maybe your girlfriend would find it helpful to ask herself if she is in fact guilty as charged , and whatever she honestly feels, to plead accordingly. Good luck with it .
 

price1367

TTC Group
She needs a different solicitor…. That is crap advice. I do not believe there is ANY chance that the CPS will drop the case if she pleads not guilty.
You cannot just plead not guilty, there is a pre trial hearing where the defence have to outline what the defence will be, what will be put forward in answer to that?
There is a 25% reduction in the fine for an early guilty plea and the prosecution costs she will have to pay rise from £85 for a guilty plea to £620 for a not guilty plea case.
There is only one benefit from a not guilty plea, and that it to the solicitors bank balance!
 

Gilln1

Active member
Thanks guys for all the posts.

She’s been ringing a few solicitors as she’s adamant she wants one as she thinks she will be too nervous to make all the points that she needs to in court (clean licence, asking for a course to knock off 25%, etc). She’s also not sure what to do in terms of preparing documents etc without a solicitor.

Anyway she’s spoke to one today who said that if she pleads not guilty there’s an 80% chance they will scrap the charge as police are busy etc and they’d have to do 2 reports.. and even if she was still found guilty the punishment wouldn’t be any worse? She is slightly considering it but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

what do you guys think, both on her needing a solicitor and this not guilty option?
Listen to Polly3 & Prices advice.

I used a solicitor for my guilty plea because like your girlfriend I was not confident of being able to stand up in court and speak. It cost a lot of money but for me personally i thought it was worth it.

The solicitor your girlfriend spoke to sounds to me like a devious @rsehole and is almost certainly praying on the fact that she hopes they might be able to get her off.....in your heart of hearts do you really believe the police would drop the case on a NG plea just because they were too busy?....I think we all know the real answer. And it will end up in that 20% bracket.

If she really is guilty then my advice to her would be to take a deep breath, plead guilty take the ban and the fine, but save yourself a lot of money by not paying the crook who is trying to take advantage.

If she is adamant she wants a solicitor have a call round and listen to the ones who speak sense not fantasy. A good solicitor won't try to sell you a dream.

Good luck to you both and I'm sure we'd all be interested to hear how it went. If nothing else but to help others who may have the same happening to them soon too.

All the best!
 

price1367

TTC Group
Thanks guys for all the posts.

She’s been ringing a few solicitors as she’s adamant she wants one as she thinks she will be too nervous to make all the points that she needs to in court (clean licence, asking for a course to knock off 25%, etc). She’s also not sure what to do in terms of preparing documents etc without a solicitor.

Anyway she’s spoke to one today who said that if she pleads not guilty there’s an 80% chance they will scrap the charge as police are busy etc and they’d have to do 2 reports.. and even if she was still found guilty the punishment wouldn’t be any worse? She is slightly considering it but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

what do you guys think, both on her needing a solicitor and this not guilty option?

The documents to prepare are:
Two references from people of some standing in the community. Best is one from her employer. Worst is from a relative.
You cannot ‘prepare’ those, just ask the people to write a character reference for you.
Then what to say to the magistrates. Write it down to be read out in case she gets tongue tied.
Express remorse, apologise for taking up the time of the police and the court, ask to be allowed to go on the ‘drink drive course’ she has heard about as there are clearly gaps in knowledge about alcohol and the effects on driving (it gets up to 25% off the length of the ban)
Make a note of the length of the ban……..

That is it! Nothing wrong with being nervous in front of the magistrates, or even terrified, it shows how much of an impact it has had on her.
 

SamL94

Member
Hi again all.

So her hearing is next Tuesday and she has today secured a solicitor- she is also going ahead with a guilty plea which I am pleased about.

we are both still a tad confused on what the next steps are and what she needs to actually prepare. She only replied to the solicitor this evening saying she wants to go ahead with them so hasn’t heard back yet.

she has a reference from a manager at work and also a statement from the girl whose car it was (was in passenger seat). Other than this what else does she need to prepare.. does she need a document explaining what happened, does she need to list mitigating factors such as clean licence etc?? It will the solicitor put all this together? And doesn’t she need to have a meeting/call with the solicitor prior, or will everything just be done on the day?

Also there’s some confusion over this course that knocks 25% off, does she need to ask for this as I’m sure the solicitor said you get offered it?
 

stu12341234

Well-known member
Hi,

If you have a solicitor they should help with all of that...that's what they are paid for, clarify that the DD course is to be mentioned.

Also as Price mentioned if you can get the prosecutor to drop the insurance charge...that will help in the future..speak too the solicitor ASAP.

Kind Regards,




Stu
 
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C J 1980

Well-known member
Hi again all.

So her hearing is next Tuesday and she has today secured a solicitor- she is also going ahead with a guilty plea which I am pleased about.

we are both still a tad confused on what the next steps are and what she needs to actually prepare. She only replied to the solicitor this evening saying she wants to go ahead with them so hasn’t heard back yet.

she has a reference from a manager at work and also a statement from the girl whose car it was (was in passenger seat). Other than this what else does she need to prepare.. does she need a document explaining what happened, does she need to list mitigating factors such as clean licence etc?? It will the solicitor put all this together? And doesn’t she need to have a meeting/call with the solicitor prior, or will everything just be done on the day?

Also there’s some confusion over this course that knocks 25% off, does she need to ask for this as I’m sure the solicitor said you get offered it?

SamL94

If the solicitor hasn't got back in touch then don't worry too much. The most important thing is that your girlfriend turns at the Magistrates Court nice and early on the day, in her best 'bib & tuck'.

Regarding the drink driving course, your girlfriend should request this from the Court Clerk who will then agree it privately with the Magistrates. Given that she is using the services of a solicitor, they should earn their wedge and ask for this on behalf of their client (your girlfriend).

Any references or letters of apology should also be handed to the Court Clerk prior to going into the courtroom. I would advise keeping copies for your own reference. If you hand them the originals, the Magistrates should take time to read them prior to them passing sentence.

As I said in my previous post - this appears to be a very straight forward case. There are no aggravating factors and because her reading is 67mg, she will not be looking at severe punishment. A 'guilty' plea at her first appearance will be respected by the bench as they cannot stand 'time wasters' who take up the Court's time with a trial at a later date.

In the court room, there will be a prosecution solicitor who will stand up and address the bench with the circumstances of the case. Your girlfriend's solicitor will act as defence and simply stand up afterwards to put forward some relevant points for the Magistrates to take in to consideration.

One form that will be given to your girlfriend when she arrives at Court is to do with her earnings/benefits. If she is still in full time employment, she needs to be truthful with her salary. Given her 'guilty' plea, I would think she will probably get a fine of maybe £200-£300 with the additional court costs and surcharge (which is around £85 each).

I am sure she will be fine on the day. Good luck.

CJ
 
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