• Qamar Solicitors

Drink Driving Statistics - don't be one of them.

With the festive season upon us, the temptation to drink and drive will be greater than at any time of year - but it really isn’t worth the risk. Various statistics, both locally and across the UK, show that drink driving remains a major issue. If you have been arrested or charged with a drink driving offence, our expert drink driving lawyers at Qamar Solicitors can give you urgent advice and representation.

What do the statistics say?

On a local level, figures just released by West Yorkshire Police show that people are far more likely to be caught drink driving in West Yorkshire during the festive period. Following a Freedom of Information request, the Force is reported to say that nearly 12 reports of drink driving were made a day last December (2016) – with 343 drink driving offences reported during the whole month and an average of eight people arrested every day.

In the first week of December 2017 alone, a reported 50 people were arrested in West Yorkshire for drink and drug driving offences (a large proportion of those arrests were over the first weekend in the month).

Drink driving is clearly a national problem. The latest figures on drink driving from the Department of Transport (DoT) show that in the five years to 2015, driving with excess alcohol resulted in an increase in casualties. In addition, there was no improvement in drink driving related deaths since 2010.

The DoT statistics also revealed:

· 1,170 serious injuries following reported drink drive accidents in 2015 (up from 1,070 the previous year)

· between 180 and 250 people were killed in Great Britain

· at least 1 driver was over the drink drive limit

· there has been a rise in overall drink drive casualties of all severities from 2014, a 3% increase to 8,480

· there was an estimated 180 fatal drink drive accidents

· the total number of drink drive accidents of all severities rose by 2% to 5,740

And it seems that 2016 may will turn out to be an even worse year: provisional estimates from the DoT suggest that between 200 and 290 people were killed in drink-drive accidents on Britain’s roads last year.

Worrying figures from the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) show that at least 7000 drivers have been caught driving over the limit twice in the past five years. And the RAC also lends its voice to the problem scale of the problem. It surveyed 1727 drivers, and 16% of them admitted that they got behind the wheel after they had too much to drink at least once in the past year (2015/2016). If this is accurate, this equates to around 5 million drivers.

Perhaps even more shockingly, an independent survey of 2,000 drivers by AlcoSense Breathalysers found that 5% of drivers would drive even they thought they were at the limit or just over.

Yet England and Wales has the highest minimum drink drive limit in the world, at 80mg per 100ml of blood (there are no plans as yet to lower the limit – even though Scotland reduced it to 50mg in 2015). This relatively high limit is not enough to deter some drivers from the temptation to avoid driving with excess alcohol in their systems. A shocking 70,000 or more people are still caught drink driving annually. If you are one of them, you will need specialist advice from expert drink driving defence solicitors.

What are the implications of drink driving?

It is vital to understand the rules and limits on drink driving. Lack of knowledge can make individuals more vulnerable to temptation, but ignorance is no defence to any criminal charge.

Few motorists plan to drink and drive – it’s usually a split second, regrettable decision, but it can have potentially tragic and life changing consequences. Apart from the potential loss of life or serious injury caused to others, you could face serious criminal charges, including manslaughter or causing death by dangerous driving. You could also lose your job and face steeper insurance premiums.

The most common drink related offences are:

· driving with excess alcohol (ie. driving with an excess of alcohol in your system)

· being unfit to drive through drink or drugs

· failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis

In some cases, particularly failure to provide breath, blood or urine specimens, our clients need expert knowledge of police procedure and the technology associated with taking specimens. If the police fail to follow required procedure, or if we can ascertain that there was a technical problem with the intoximeter, we may be able to get the charges against you dropped.

If convicted, drink driving offenders face potentially significant penalties depending on the circumstances. Unless you can offer ‘special reasons’ (for instance, there was a medical emergency), you will be disqualified for drink driving for at least a year, and possibly a fine of up to £5,000. If it’s a subsequent drink driving offence, you could also face up to six months in prison, a community order, a longer period of disqualification and/or an extended retest.

I’ve been charged with a drink driving offence. What should I do?

Don’t do anything until you have spoken to a specialist drink driving solicitor at Qamar Solicitors. Even if you were drink driving at the relevant time, don’t accept the charges without specialist legal advice – the police must follow procedure at the scene, and a failure by the police can change the picture.

How can we help?

Facing prosecution for an offence can be a daunting prospect and our lawyers are sensitive to this. The drink driving lawyers at Qamar Solicitors have a long track record of successfully defending clients on drink driving charges. We aim to help our clients avoid becoming a statistic, so if you are caught driving over the alcohol limit – contact us urgently. We will robustly defend you and protect your rights.

To learn more about the expert motoring defence services available for you at Qamar Solicitors, and how we may be able to help you avoid a driving ban, call 01484 200 199 today, or simply fill out our enquiry form. One of our skilled motoring solicitors will contact you promptly.

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