Drunk in charge of a vehicle and the penalties (DR10 conviction)

Being drunk in charge of a vehicle is quite different from facing a drink drive case. A driver can be charged when the police have no evidence to prove the ‘driving’ element of the offence. For this reason, being found guilty of being drunk in charge of a vehicle is less severe than being convicted of drink driving. However, there is a mandatory minimum of 10 penalty points, which could lead to a lengthy ban under the ‘totting up’ procedure for offenders who have three points or more on their licence.

Drunk in charge of a vehicle sentencing guidelines

When a magistrates court sentences someone of being ‘drunk whilst in charge of a motor vehicle’ (DR10) they use the following guidelines:

  • 10 penalty points, or a period of disqualification
  • Up to £2500 fine, a community order or a custodial sentence of up to 3 months
 

Defending a 'drunk whilst in charge of a vehicle' offence

If you have been charged with this offence then you will need to prove that there was no likelihood of you driving your vehicle whilst you remained in excess of the alcohol limit. Examples of this could be where a person decides to sleep in their car after a night out and they may have switched the engine on to keep warm. You would have to convince the court however that when you woke up you would not have driven home while still over the limit. To do this you would need to show them evidence of exactly when you intended to drive, if at all, as well as alternatives to driving if you could not, eg public transport etc. Drivers who can show there was absolutely no chance of them driving whilst over the limit can be acquitted.

We would also check the following:

  • There was evidence that proves the accused was in charge of the vehicle
  • If there were any errors in procedure by the police. For example, have they followed the correct procedure when taking the sample of blood, breath or urine?
  • Has the sample of blood, breath or urine been tested properly either by the machine or by the analysts in the laboratory?

 

Why choose Brian Koffman & Co.

Through enlisting the services of an experienced motor offence specialist you stand a far greater chance of reaching a satisfactory outcome. We have vast experience of dealing with these cases and have provided invaluable assistance to other drivers facing prosecution. You can discuss your options free of charge and we will review all the evidence against you and advise you of the strengths and weaknesses of the case.

If we can prove that you had no intention of driving the vehicle until your alcohol level fell below the prescribed limit,we can secure your acquittal. We may find evidence of an inaccurate breath reading or other technicalities that would support your defence. If you plan on pleading guilty to the offence, we will endeavour to ensure that the court imposes the lowest penalty possible – especially if you are at risk of being disqualified.

Contact us today.

If you are facing a ‘drunk whilst in charge of a motor vehicle’ conviction it is important you are legally represented. Even though this type of offence doesn’t carry a mandatory disqualification period the court can still impose 10 penalty points. Your chances of a better outcome are increased when you have an experienced motoring offence solicitor representing you.

Please contact Brian Koffman & Co on 0161 832 3852 for a free consultation, or submit an enquiry.