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  • David Williams Traffic Offence Solicitor Poole, Wimborne and Bournemouth

Arrested for drink-driving? What happens next?

Stopped By Police

David Williams can help you.

I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw the police car pull out behind me. I knew I shouldn't have had that 3rd pint but the banter in the pub was a laugh. My wife was out so I thought why not? I see in my mirror that the police car is getting closer. I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and I wind down the window, try to concentrate on my driving and hunt for a mint to disguise the smell of alcohol. The blue flashing lights have come on. This isn't funny anymore. I pull over to the side of the road.

The roadside breath test was positive as I knew it would be. I know the law. I know that two pints doesn’t affect my driving at all. It was that third point that did it. I am now in the back of a police car. The officers have been professional and efficient and have been good enough not to handcuff me. I haven't given them any trouble. It suddenly hits me. If I'm disqualified I can't get to work. I can't take the children to school. I can't visit my elderly parents. I won’t be able to do anything. I'll lose the business! Worse than that I could lose my marriage, my children and my house!

The police car arrives at the police station. This is not a place where I've been before and certainly not a place where I want to be again. Its dark and foreboding. I'm led to the door and down a corridor and up to a high desk where the custody sergeant introduces himself to me. One of the two arresting officers explains what has happened and why I have been arrested and that I provided a positive specimen at the roadside. They can smell alcohol on my breath and by now I'm frightened and scared. I'm pale and sweating and trembling slightly. They've seen it all hundreds of times but this is my first experience of what it's like to be a drink driver.

The custody sergeant books me in by taking my details. This is much worse than going before the headmaster at school for a caning all those years ago. Throughout the officers are calm, informative and professional. I'm led down the corridor to another brightly lit room where there is a big machine in the corner. One officer proceeds to work at the machine. The other explains that this is the police station Intoximeter machine which will tell how far over the drink drive limit I am when I provide two samples of breath for analysis. The machine starts humming and making funny noises. I look up and realise that this is all on camera and being recorded for posterity. I'm told to sit quietly while the machine gets ready; it takes a few minutes. All this time I'm dreading having to blow into the tube that is being attached to the machine. The officer explains the procedure to me. I stand up and move forward and in a short space of time it's all over. I have provided the required two specimens of breath without any difficulty although feel slightly lightheaded. It took a little more effort than I thought because the machine has to measure air from the lower part of my lungs.

I'm told to sit down whilst the machine calculates my breath readings. It continues to make various buzzing and clicking noises and then eventually discharges a piece of paper that looks like the receipt when you pay at the supermarket. The officer operating the machine confirms that I'm over the drink-driving limit, which is 35 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. My readings are 54 mg and 56 mg. By law the police must use the lower of the two readings and so he tells me I'm approximately 1.5 times over the legal limit. He continues to complete a long form which he has been completing throughout the time I've been in the room. He provides me with a copy of the printout and asks me to sign a copy which I do with some hesitation. It seems like I am signing my own life sentence.

I'm taken back to the custody sergeant at the main desk. The arresting officer confirms that I'm over the drink drive limit and produces the printout to the custody sergeant. I am formally charged with drink-driving and put back in a cell and told that I will be detained until it's appropriate for the police to release me. The cell is very basic with a wooden bench and rubber mattress, a blanket and a pretty grotty thin pillow. I don't feel like sleeping. I don't feel like walking. I feel like…..! After what seems ages I am brought a cup of tea. After an even longer period the second officer visits me in the cell. I take another test on the roadside device which is negative. I am told I can soon be released from custody. I don't feel any comfort in that at all.

I forgot about my wife and children but the police officer tells me that he notified them where I was by telephone 3 hours ago. I'm happy that I will soon be released from police custody but dreading having to go home and face the music!

Before I leave the Police Station I'm given some pieces of paper. These are the charge sheet and I'm told that I'm on police bail to appear at the Magistrates court at 9:30 am on Monday week – just nine days away. I can drive until then but in Court I will be disqualified from driving.

I have never done anything like this before. What do I do and who do I turn to for advice? I need someone to look after me and represent me at court and advise me about whether I can pay a higher fine and avoid disqualification. Or is there a way to reduce the period of disqualification or avoid it at all? I really need an experienced solicitor who knows about these matters.

For a free initial consultation about drink-driving or any other driving offences please contact David Williams on 07793 055104 or - at any time.

David is also a specialist Family Law practitioner and is able to help you with your divorce, separation or financial settlement issues. More details of these services are available though the Jordan Williams Law Ltd. main site here.

I am situated in Ferndown, but I am happy to see clients in Poole, Bournemouth, Wimborne and the surrounding areas. Please see my Services page to see what sort offeneces can be defended.

David Williams

David Williams of Jordan Williams Law Ltd.

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