Drink Driving – Procedure
Drink driving is a complex and serious area of law therefore we offer FREE online advice in relation to such cases. Accused of being a Drink/driver then ask us about your own case right now! People can and do, go to prison for committing this offence therefore we strongly urge you to seek legal representation as soon as possible.
No one wants to face a drink driving charge alone. It is therefore all the more important to seek out professional help at the earliest opportunity. Drink driving cases sometimes involve technical defences where evidence requires to be secured at the earliest opportunity. (Even before you appear in court on the drink drive charge)
The Drink Driving Case Procedure normally starts with the police pulling your car over for a check or after you have been involved in a road traffic accident. You can pretty well always expect to be breathalysed if you have been in any road traffic accident around Christmas time.
You will first be tested with the handheld intoximeter device. Although the reading from this machine will not be used in evidence if you fail then the next stop will be the police office. You will be brought before the police station duty officer and the officer will be informed that you are suspected of drink driving and the EC/IR Intoximeter device will require to be used. You will then be taken to the “Intoximeter” room where the breath analysis will be taken. You will be shown the machine and asked to blow into the device. (It surprises most people that you require to blow for several seconds and blowing consistently can seem difficult)
If you fail then you will be given a copy of the print out. It looks like a till receipt. you should keep this. You may then be kept in custody until the duty officer deems you fit to drive. It is normally the next day before you are released from the police station and often a further intoximeter test is done before you leave the office.
The police will give you a “Pink form” called a “Bail Undertaking” this provides a date and time for you to attend at your local court where your case will call for the first time. This means that you are now subject to a bail order. To commit any other offence whilst on bail, eg speeding, is a separate offence and it can mean the court would consider remanding you in custody if you have apparently committed another offence whilst on police bail. This is particularly relevant where the further allegation is another allegation of drink driving.
Drink Driving: In Court
When you attend court a duty solicitor will be present and he/she should have a few minutes with you prior to your court appearance. We would strongly advise you to seek out the services of a solicitor BEFORE you attend court. Needless to say we suggest you contact us or another firm of specialist road traffic lawyers.
A duty solicitor will be at court however he/she is there for people who cannot afford a solicitor and will require Legal Aid. You will most likely discover that you do not qualify for Legal Aid.
In busy courts such as Glasgow there can easily be up to 150 people appearing in the same court on that day and the duty solicitor will have approx. 1 hour to see the majority of them. it is therefore very important that you consider contacting a road traffic lawyer as soon as possible.
When your case is called you will go forward to the “dock” and the clerk of court will ask you to confirm your name and address. If you have a lawyer he/she will tender the plea at this stage. If a guilty plea is tendered you can expect to be disqualified for at least 1 year and if you have been been convicted of a similar offence in the past 10 years then expect to be disqualified for 3 years minimum.
If you plead Not Guilty the court will set dates for a Trial and an Intermediate Diet (Formal court appearance to check case is prepared) You must then return to court on both of these dates.
Your solicitor will then obtain a list of witnesses from the Procurator fiscal and start to prepare your defence. you should contact your solicitor at least two weeks prior to the Intermediate diet to go over the case preparations and discuss your case again. If your case involves a report from an expert such as a forensic toxicologist then you may incur added expense and should liase with your solicitor regarding same from the outset of your case to ensure that he/she is provided with all the information that is required as soon as possible. Forensic toxicologists are busy professionals and it can take several days to receive a report. The main advice therefore is to keep your solicitor fully informed from the outset and to return to him with any further instructions that you think may have a bearing on the case as soon as you are aware of same.
Remember that when the court clerk reads out the two dates for you to return to court it is your responsibility to ensure that you note theses dates and return. Do not expect your lawyer to send you a reminder (Although in most cases they will)
Seek out the services of a specialist and arrange a meeting with him/her as soon as you can. This is a serious area of road traffic law that attract custodial sentences. Do not underestimate how seriously the courts of Scotland regard this matter.