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Drink driving, Alloa Sheriff Court, May 2016. Our client had driven home from a trip to some nearby shops. About 20 minutes later, the police knocked on her door. They stated that a witness had seen her drinking from a bottle of vodka before driving off. Our client’s position was that she had taken a drink of water.

Thereafter, upon returning home, she had consumed a quantity of vodka to help her cope with excruciating pain she was suffering. She had bought the vodka and poured it into a water bottle before returning home. She disposed of the vodka bottle in a nearby bin. The police were able to trace the bottle.

At trial, it was put to the eye-witness that she was mistaken. Our client also gave evidence. She accepted she was over the limit. However this was due to drinking upon returning home. This is colloquially called the ‘hip flask’ defence. Its proper title is ‘post-incident drinking. If established, it is a complete defence to drink-driving.

It is essential to provide medical evidence to back up the client’s version of events. This typically involves a toxicology report. We obtained such a report and it was supportive of our client. Taken together with our client’s evidence, it was sufficient for a not guilty verdict.