Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Drink driving charges: circumstances for defence

Consideration has been given for the editing and publishing of this post

You might think that being charged with drink driving means you will definitely be disqualified but you might be wrong. There may be a valid defence to your charge. However, you’ll need to make sure you contact a professional, such as those at http://drinkdrivesolicitor.com if you want to avoid conviction and keep your driving licence.

The ins and outs of drink driving charges can be difficult for people to navigate, but with the right instruction, you could find out that a charge could be defended.

So, what are some of the most common defences?

1. Failure to provide a specimen?

One of the most commonly contested charges is failure to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. This covers a situation where a person has been required to provide breath at the police station but has not been able to satisfy the requirements of the breath testing machine.

There are different machines used for obtaining breath specimens in England and Wales. These are the Lion Intoxilyser 6000, the Intoximeter EC/IR and the Camic Datamaster, and while each device measures a sample in a similar way, the requirements each machine needs to register a sample are different. Officers are not trained in relation to the different requirements of each machine meaning it could be the instructions given that resulted in the failure not the person accused.

If you have a lung problem which severely restricts your ability to breathe then you could have been unable to meet the requirements of the machine. The police have the power to require blood or urine instead but do not always do so. This could result in the dismissal of the charge against you warrants further discussion with your solicitor.

2. An error in procedure

With such strict and yet differing policies from place to place, errors in procedure can be fairly common. This occurs regularly where the police require specimens whilst the person accused is at a hospital, for example, where they are being treated following an accident

At hospital, only blood and urine specimens can be required for subsequent analysis at a laboratory. This means that the procedure to be followed is more complicated than at the police station and the scope for arguing that it has not been followed correctly is normally greater. The police must also ensure that the person from whom they are requiring samples is in a position to provide valid consent. If a head injury has been sustained this may not be the case and the sample could be ruled inadmissible by the Court. Similarly, if a person has not provided consent to the provision of a blood sample but was not in a position to fully understand the requirement they would be entitled to be found not guilty of the charge.

3. Faulty equipment

As with any machine used to provide evidence and scientific analysis, there is always the potential for it to give an incorrect reading. There has been a great deal of debate in relation to whether electromagnetic waves from mobile phones and police radios can interfere with the result of a breath test. Similarly, anomalies with the calibration of machines may be identified If you are surprised by a reading given (click here for drink driving limits), and feel strongly that the machine may have been faulty then your solicitor can help you to build a case for this.


The vital consideration with each of these circumstances is that you contact an expert drink driving solicitor as soon as possible. Have you had any experience of drink driving charges recently? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book recommendation: In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences by Truman Capote

The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics. Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book recommendation: Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories by John Mortimer


Forever Rumpole - a hilarious selection of the very best Rumpole stories by John Mortimer. Horace Rumpole lives alongside Mr Pickwick and Bertie Wooster as one of the immortal comic characters in English fiction. Forever Rumpole contains seven stories originally chosen by the author himself as his favourites, together with a further seven from the later period and the opening chapters of a Rumpole novel that Sir John was working on when he died in 2009. The book also includes a fascinating introduction by Ann Mallalieu, fellow lawyer and for many years Sir John's colleague in practice. Available from Amazon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book recommendation: 21st Century Solicitor by Steve Weiner

This might be news: success as a twenty-first century solicitor is not dependent on your technical aptitude alone. Sorry. As well as the basic requirements of understanding and applying the law superbly, you are also now expected to master a whole suite of so-called 'soft skills' -- communicating empathetically, acting commercially, writing carefully, presenting brilliantly, networking sensibly and building relationships enthusiastically. These skills might be called 'soft' by our industry, but the reality is that they are both incredibly hard and vitally important -- especially as a junior commercial lawyer keen to make a likeable, professional, commercial and lasting positive impression on those in control of your embryonic career. Written by a lawyer with unique experience as a commercial practitioner, trainer and law-firm voyeur, this no-nonsense 'how to' guide is an honest, punchy and modern look at all the skills you don't get taught at law school, yet are absolutely critical to achieving success from day one of your life as a twenty-first century solicitor. Available from Amazon.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book recommendation: Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction To Your Future by Richard Susskind

In his newest provocative and forward-looking volume on the legal profession, Richard Susskind-the best-selling author of The End of Lawyers? and The Future of Law-predicts fundamental and irreversible changes in the world of law. What Susskind sees is eye-opening-a legal world of virtual courts, Internet-based global legal businesses, online document production, commoditised service, legal process outsourcing, and web-based simulated practice. Legal markets will be liberalised, with new jobs for lawyers and new employers too. Tomorrow's Lawyers is a definitive guide to this future--for young and aspiring lawyers, and for all who want to modernise our legal and justice systems. It introduces the new legal landscape and offers practical guidance for those who intend to build careers and businesses in law. Susskind identifies the key drivers of change, such as the economic downturn, and considers how these will shape the legal marketplace. He then sketches out the new legal landscape as he envisions it, highlighting the changing role of law firms-and in-house lawyers-and the coming of virtual hearings and online dispute resolution. He also suggests solutions to major concerns within the legal profession, such as diminishing public funding, and explores alternative roles for future lawyers in a world increasingly dominated by It. And what are the prospects for aspiring lawyers? Susskind predicts what new jobs and new employers there will be, equipping prospective lawyers with penetrating questions to put to their current and future bosses. Available from Amazon.