Drink driving in the UK can attract serious penalties and these are even more severe for repeat offenders. If this is your second offence within 10 years then there is a significant increase in the severity of the penalty. In the more serious cases there is a real possibility that you will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and at best you will face a minimum of a 3 year ban.

The usual penalty for drink driving is broken down depending upon your alcohol level. For example, in cases where you have given a breath sample the following applies in respect of your penalty:

Alcohol Level                       Starting point                                                           Disqualification

36 – 59                                       Band C fine                                                                12 – 16 months

60 – 89                                       Band C fine                                                                17 – 22 months

90 – 119                                    Medium Level Community Order               23 – 28 months

120 – 150 +                             12 weeks custody                                                 29 – 36 months


As the above shows, for a first time offender it is only the most serious case that attracts a custodial penalty however if you already have a previous conviction then the following may apply:

Previous conviction in past 10 years                        Minimum 3 year disqualification


Previous conviction in past 3 years                         Court will consider a custodial penalty regardless of  alcohol level


If you have more than one previous then the court will consider your overall driving record within the 10 year period to decide the appropriate penalty however the above does not apply to cases of being drunk in charge.

Expert Drink Driving Advice

There are an almost limitless number of firms who claim to specialise in drink driving however, it is astounding how many people come to us for us to find that they have been giving inaccurate advice.

Often clients have had representation at the police station and been misinformed about the penalty they face. The frightening reality of this is that many will not seek any further advice and go to court at a huge disadvantage.

One of our clients, Mr S from Chelmsford had had been charged with drink driving with a breath result of 92. Whilst this case was ongoing, he was charged with a further offence of failing to provide a specimen for analysis whilst he was in hospital which meant he potentially had 3 convictions within the space of 10 years, and 2 only a matter of weeks apart.

We represented Mr S in both of his cases and he was ultimately found NOT GUILTY of all charges. Following the case, he has this to say:

“On finding myself on the wrong side of the law twice with  one allegation of drink driving I contacted 2 firms for advice. Both firms advised me to plead guilty but this is just not what I wanted to do as the consequence of a conviction (which would have been my second in the space of 3 years) would have been terrifying.

I found Neil Sargeant online and he talked me through my case. Neil could see that I was innocent and his advice was second to none. He started to prepare a fantastic case to defend the allegation but whilst waiting for trial, I was arrested again and this time charged with failing to provide a sample when I was taken to hospital after an accident.

Neil again went through my case and advised me that I should also defend this one.

Both cases were fantastically prepared and an expert barrister was appointed to represent me at both of my trials. I was found not guilty of drink driving and some weeks later also found not guilty of the failure to provide a specimen which was thrown out of court.  

I was going through an extremely difficult time and the support from Neil went well beyond what I expected. He managed my expectations but also reassured me of the strength of my case. Both of my cases were complex but Neil would not give up on me.

I cannot fully express my gratitude to Neil and his team. Even though he seemed to understand my position and empathise, I don’t think he knew just how much a further conviction would have destroyed both my professional and personal life. I would have no hesitation in recommending people to Neil. Thank you once again” 

Are There Any Defences to Drink Driving?

There is a common assumption that if you are charged with drink driving you there is no possible defence however this is simply not the case. A second allegation can prove to have severe consequences and our lawyers have a proven track-record of successfully defending drink driving cases having had a success rate in 2014 of 94%.

We offer an investigative service whereby we review your case in full and provide our advice on merits of your case to ensure you have all the information required to make the best decision on how to proceed.

We have devised numerous pages in respect of the different types of drink driving which we would recommend that you read and we strongly urge you to contact us to dis