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Drink Driving in London

Who are we?

The London Drink Driving Solicitor is a specialist drink driving firm of solicitors run by Nicholas Diable, a dual-qualified barrister and solicitor with a prestigious reputation for criminal law advocacy. Nick focuses his energies solely on defending people accused of drink driving and related offences, such as failing to provide so when you instruct us you can be certain that you will be receiving legal advice and representation from a solicitor who really is an expert.

What do we do?

Our speciality is defending people accused of drink driving and failing to provide offences in and around London.

Drink driving includes a handful of complex offences, all of which we can help you beat. The most common offence is driving with excess alcohol, this is the quintessential drink driving offence. Related to excess alcohol is being unfit to drive through drink or drugs, which is another type of drink driving. We also regularly represent people who have been accused of failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis, which are cases calling for a detailed knowledge of police procedure and operation of the intoximeter machines used by police forces.

Why choose the London Drink Driving Solicitor

Expertise

The London Drink Driving Solicitor is dedicated to defending people just like you who have been accused of drink driving. We spend all day every day studying drink driving cases, thinking about drink driving cases and defending drink driving cases. We have the expertise to help you.

Excellent service

We follow best practises for client care and service set out by the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority. You will receive a friendly, speedy and efficient service from a dedicated solicitor who will meet with you, advise you and, in 90% of cases, will represent you personally in court.

You will always receive your solicitors email address and telephone number so you can reach your solicitor quickly and easily.

Price

We check our prices against competitors regularly and we know that our fees are the best value around. We are also happy to help you spread the cost of your defence with staged payment or you could use an interest-free credit card to pay and spread the cost to suit you.

Best of all, we only ever charge fixed fees so you know from the start how much your defence will cost you with no hidden extras waiting to surprise you later on.

Recent cases

The following are a selection of cases we have undertaken in the past year.

Trials

R v HP – Our client was accused of drink driving and two counts of drug driving. It was accepted that he had been over the drink driving limit on the basis that this was a morning after case and not one in which he had driven immediately after consuming alcohol. HP denied ever having taken the drugs in question. The case was adjourned for trial; however, when the case management hearing took place Nick indicated to the prosecutor that we required a substantial amount of material as we disputed the continuity of the blood test, i.e. we were arguing that the blood tested in the laboratory could not have been HPs. The prosecutor in court refused to drop the drug driving cases; however, a Senior Crown Prosecutor sitting in the courtroom intervened to overrule his decision and ordered him to immediately offer no evidence against our client.

R v AI – The police were called to a report of a drunk man vomiting out of his car door before driving away. A description of the vehicle and its registration number were given to police by the caller. Police attended and found AI inside the vehicle a few streets away from the original sighting. A security guard stationed nearby stated that the car had pulled up within the past 10 minutes and that nobody had exited the vehicle. AI was charged with being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. At trial, we cross-examined five police officers and the security guard. After hearing the cross-examinations, AI’s evidence and our closing speech the magistrates acquitted AI of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. Costs were ordered to be paid to AI.

R v TMM – client was charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath following a collision involving his vehicle. He was not present at the scene of the crash and was found by police at home in bed. We made representations to the Crown based on their evidence identifying him as the driver as well as debating whether the police officers were genuinely engaged in an investigation allowing them to require a specimen of breath given the circumstances in which TM was found. The Crown Prosecution Service accepted our representations and discontinued the case against our client.

R v MU - MU was arrested for being drunk in charge of his car. When police found him he was sat in the driving seat with an open can of beer and the engine running. We successfully argued that there was no likelihood of him driving while he remained over the drink driving limit. We made representations to the prosecutor who was forced to concede that we were correct. As a result they discontinued the case against MU on the day of trial. The court ordered that the prosecution repay MU's legal costs.

R v SS - Police were called following a road traffic collision in which SS was believed to have been driving. When the police arrived, SS was arrested, breath tested and found to be significantly over the drink driving limit. He was charged with drink driving and initially instructed another motoring law firm. Unfortunately, SS was unhappy with the work they conducted on his case so he instructed the London Drink Driving Solicitor to take over. We analysed the evidence in the case and prepared a Defence Statement arguing that SS was not guilty. The prosecutor read our Defence Statement and immediately decided they could not win. The case was dismissed and the prosecutor ordered to pay SS’s legal costs. Following his acquittal, SS had the following to say:
“I thought I had no chance; then I contacted Nick of London Drink Driving Solicitor. From the moment I contacted Nick, he has shown his expertise and professionalism when dealing with my case and told me I did have a chance when everyone else (including my friends) thought it was 'done and dusted'.
“Nick asked for all the evidence, queried everything the prosecution said they had and… the CPS dropped all charges.
“I cannot thank Nick enough for his dedication and professionalism which has not only saved me a potentially huge fine but also saved my license and stopped me from having a criminal conviction. I am now back in my car and enjoying every second of it.”

R v PM – We represented a man accused of being drunk in charge of a motorcar after he was found asleep at the wheel. We put forward evidence to show he had been sleeping in the car and had no intention of driving it while he remained over the limit. At trial he was found not guilty. A Defence Costs Order was made in his favour allowing him to recover his legal costs.

R v GS – Arrested for drink driving following an anonymous call to the police giving her details as the driver of a car and alleging that GS had been seen to consume a significant amount of alcohol prior to driving. GS was arrested at her home. At trial, we argued that much of the police officer’s evidence was inadmissible as he had made technical errors when he questioned GS. We also relied on the hip flask defence saying that GS had consumed alcohol after she ceased to drive. GS was acquitted and a Defence Costs Order made in her favour, allowing her to recover her legal costs.

R v AB - We represented a gentleman accused of failing to provide a specimen for analysis at the police station. We successfully argued that the police officer had not explained the procedure properly and thus our client had not understood the requirement for him to provide. He was acquitted and an order allowing him to recover his legal costs was made.

R v GV - A lady accused of being drunk in charge was acquitted after we convinced the court that she had no intention of driving the car, despite her being sat in the driving seat with the engine running. We were able to show that she had been waiting to be picked up and thus there was no likelihood of her driving. Costs were awarded in the defendant’s favour.

R v TM - We argued that our client should not face trial for drink driving because she was found in a private car park. After making our case to the Crown Prosecution Service, their solicitors agreed that we were correct and withdrew the case on the morning of trial. The court agreed with us that the prosecution should pay the defendant’s legal costs in that case.

Special reasons

R v ME –Police spotted a car being driven by ME late at night close to a number of nightclubs and bars. The officers stopped ME and found he was over the drink driving limit. ME argued that he had only consumed one pint of cider and could not be over the drink driving limit. At court, he conceded that the breath test must be correct meaning that the only explanation was that somebody spiked his drink with alcohol. After his arrest, a friend confessed to spiking ME’s drink but refused to come to court and testify. At a special reasons trial, we cross-examined the arresting police officer and got him to admit that ME had said from the beginning that he had only drunk one alcohol beverage, something the police had initially denied in their witness statements. We also successfully argued that ME should be allowed to give the non-admissible, hearsay evidence of his friend’s confession. After hearing the evidence, the District Judge agreed that ME should not be disqualified from driving. ME was given an absolute discharge, no disqualification, no penalty points, no endorsement of the conviction on his driving record and no costs were awarded against him. Following the hearing, ME’s father remarked that, “[Nick] was definitely the right choice for this case; brilliant lawyer.”

R v SH – Mr H had entered a guilty plea to driving his lorry while under the influence of alcohol. He instructed Nick Diable to represent him in his special reasons hearing arguing that the distance driven was so short it would be unjust to disqualify him. Nick met with SH then visited the scene of the incident, took photographs and notes to present to the court. Nick was able to show that the distance that had been driven could be measured in feet and that SH had only driven because another lorry driver had been blocked in by several cars, the owners of which could not be found. The magistrates agreed that this situation was a special reason and SH was allowed to continue driving with 8 penalty points on his licence – in most cases the court will impose 10 points in a case such as this.

R v DG – Police on patrol in Kingston town centre spotted a motor car being driven in the early hours of the morning with the headlights switched off. They approached the driver when the car stopped and DG immediately told them he had been drinking. He was arrested, charged with drink driving. Given DG’s account he accepted he had no defence to the allegation but was keen to save his driving licence. At court, Nick Diable represented DG and argued that he had driven a very short distance in circumstances where nobody else was put in danger and should be allowed to keep his driving licence. The District Judge agreed and opted not to impose the normally obligatory disqualification, which would have been for around 18 months given DG’s alcohol level.

R v AA - Having been caught red-handed drink driving, we argued that our client should not be disqualified as she had only been travelling a short distance. We submitted a skeleton argument on the law and facts of her case. The court agreed that in the circumstance it was not appropriate to impose a driving ban following her guilty plea to drink driving. She received four penalty points and a £100 fine.

R v RP - After attending a birthday party, our client was seen by policing driving very slowly on a motorway and weaving across her lane. She later pleaded guilty to drink driving and we argued that she should not be disqualified as she had unwittingly consumed more alcohol than she had expected to drink. The court agreed with us and imposed a £150 fine and four penalty points.

Early removals of driving bans

MB v Chief Superintendent of Stoke Newington Police – MB was disqualified from driving for the second time in 3 years in 2015 when he chose to be represented by the duty solicitor at court. Having received a 40 month driving ban he approached the London Drink Driving Solicitor to enquire whether we could do anything to get him back on the road sooner than 2019, which is when his ban was due to expire. Acting on his instructions, we made an application to remove his driving ban, which was opposed by the local police chief. Nonetheless, we convinced the court to overrule the wishes of the police and return MB’s driving licence to him immediately. This effectively reduced his 40 month driving ban to 20 months, which is 16 months less than the court is required to impose for a second drink driving offence committed within 10 years of the first offence.

RR v Chief Superintendent of Ealing Police – RR had received numerous driving disqualifications and served a spell in prison for 12 driving offences including five drink driving and four driving while disqualified offences many of which involved collisions with other vehicles. As a result, RR had been banned from the roads for 5 years. We convinced the court that RR had been an alcoholic at the time of his offences and gave the court evidence that he had tackled his alcohol addiction in the years since his last conviction. The magistrates were satisfied that RR had turned his life around and was no longer a risk of committing further offence. They agreed to return his driving licence to him.

Mitigation

R v CH - We were instructed by a school teacher who had been arrested after drink driving his car with 175 microgrammes of alcohol in every 100 ml of his breath – that put him 5 times over the drink driving limit! The normal starting point for a first time offender with such a high reading is around six-months in prison. We argued that he should not be sent to prison and should be offered treatment for his alcohol problems. The court agreed and he avoided prison. Given the very high reading and other aggravating factors, a starting point of a 5 year driving ban was to be expected. We successfully argued that the length of the ban should be reduced to 3 years.

R v CL - The deputy headmistress instructed us to represent her when she was arrested drink driving from a pub. She had provided a specimen that indicated a starting point of 22 months driving disqualification. Her case was aggravated because she had crashed her car during the journey. We successfully argued that the period of disqualification should be reduced from 22 months to 17 months and she was allowed to take the drink driving rehabilitation course, which further reduced the disqualification to 12 months.

Appeals

R v MB - A city worker attended court and pleaded guilty to drink driving. The court took £5,000 as the starting point for the fine. He instructed us to appeal the level of the fine, which we did. At the appeal court his fine was reduced to £650 and he was able to claim his legal costs back.

R v VA - Following a botched sentencing job in the magistrates court by another solicitor we were instructed by a gentleman to appeal the length of his driving disqualification. We successfully argued that both his fine and the length of his driving ban were too long and both were accordingly reduced. He was able to recover his costs from the prosecution.

Call us now on 020 8242 4440 and get us on your side. Solicitors are ready to take your call between 9am and 5.30pm, but our phones are answered 24-hours a day and we can call you back at a time that suits you. Or you can email us from our contact page.