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Get a FREE assesment

For a free discussion of your options with a member of our specialist team, Call us on 0800 160 1645 or leave your details below.

How it works

We advise you

We will review your case and advise you on what happens next, the options available to you and the best course of action to take.

We build your case

We use our extensive experience to check if the police procedures were followed and challenge device calibrations using our network of forensic experts.

We represent you

We work with the top drink driving barristers in the country and they will be attending court and representing you. Their specialist expertise is reflected in our exceptional success rates.

Our experience drives results

Our team has over 20 years’ experience defending those charged with drink-driving and other motoring offences.

We work with specialist barristers and forensic experts and we have the experience needed to achieve the best outcomes for our clients.

Some clients wish to defend their cases and work to achieve an acquittal. Others wish to plead guilty – in which case, we work hard to reduce their sentence. However you decide to proceed, we can be by your side.

What our clients say:

How our Drink Driving Defence Specialists can Help

If you face a drink driving charge, it is important to secure the help and assistance of an experienced lawyer. The consequences can be extremely serious and you should not be alone when contemplating the potential outcome.

For some people, a drink driving conviction can be life-altering. Some clients who use our services either rely on their ability to drive to be able to work or need to maintain a clean criminal record for their profession. A criminal record can lead to reduced employment opportunities and can sometimes reduce other opportunities like the ability to travel easily abroad. A drink-drive sentence can involve a fine, community service or – in extreme cases – imprisonment. A driving ban has the obvious practical effect of preventing a person from driving, but can also lead to the future costs of car insurance being prohibitively expensive and some drivers might be required to retake their driving test after the ban has ended.

Our lawyers can discuss the specific potential consequences of your case and will work hard to protect your legal position and to give you sound and reliable advice. In most cases, we are able to work with our clients to achieve a more positive outcome.

For frank and confidential advice about the best way forward, contact our team on 0800 160 1645.


Your questions answered

Our friendly team are always on hand to help. Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions below.

The amount of alcohol in your body is measured scientifically by the police, often using a breath-test machine.

The amount of alcohol that is needed to exceed the limit will vary for each person and depends on a number of factors such as your height, weight, the period over which alcohol was consumed, the rate that your body absorbs alcohol and the rate that alcohol is removed from your body. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

You may be surprised to find that the police’s measurement of your alcohol level takes you over the legal limit when you feel that you only had one single spirit and mixer to drink. Machines are not always 100% reliable and for that reason, we will obtain a scientific calculation based upon the elimination of alcohol within your body to confirm what your exact alcohol reading should have been at the time the police took their reading. We will also investigate the whole procedure including the testing procedure, your arrest and your detention at the police station to determine if the police followed proper procedures when dealing with you. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

The sentencing guidance that the courts follow states that the courts should reduce your sentence if you plead guilty early. This can reduce the level of a fine, community service or, in extreme cases, of imprisonment. A driving ban is a different part of the punishment and gets tagged onto a sentence. The guidelines suggest that the length of a ban should not be reduced simply because a person enters a guilty plea early. There are a number of different parts of punishment that can be reduced in different ways. Our lawyers are experienced at identifying the most helpful factors in your case that can reduce different parts of the punishment if you plead guilty and to present these in court in a structured way. It is always important to use a lawyer’s services – even if you wish to plead guilty early. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

After a conviction, you will always have a criminal record (unless you appeal successfully) and your details will remain on the police national computer. This does not mean it is always relevant to disclose.

The conviction can be deemed not relevant or can be ignored for different purposes after certain time periods.

Your conviction will usually be deemed relevant for sentencing in any other similar case over the next ten years. Your driving record will be endorsed and your conviction will stay on your licence for eleven years. The conviction can be ignored for most other circumstances after a rehabilitation period that will depend on the actual sentence that is passed. When you apply for e.g. insurance or employment, the paperwork may specify a certain period that the form is asking you to disclose and may exclude driving offences. Always read the question carefully to determine this. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

You may need to inform your employer as part of your employment contract depending on your job. Certain sectors are also subject to an additional need to disclose an allegation or a conviction for regulatory purposes or for disclosure and barring checks. To discuss this fully, call us on .

We have experience working with regulated people and our firm also has an employment law team who can give specific advice if required. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

If you are unhappy with the Magistrates’ Court’s decision regarding your case, you have a right to appeal either your conviction or your sentence to the Crown Court within 21 days of being found guilty. After this period, you need to apply for permission to appeal. We can assist with an appeal and we can also apply to the court to suspend your disqualification pending the appeal hearing which may be listed to be heard in a number of months following your original conviction. If the court agrees to suspend your disqualification, you will be able to drive during this time. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

You can be prosecuted for being drunk in charge of a vehicle even where you have not actually been driving. Whether you can be found guilty of this offence will depend on whether you were in control of the vehicle and whether there was a realistic possibility of you attempting to drive the vehicle. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

There may be a situation where you need to drive as a matter of urgency even though you have been drinking, for example if there is a risk of injury or if a medical emergency arises. In the most extreme cases, there can be a full defence where driving is a necessity. In such cases, a defence can be run to avoid a conviction. In less extreme cases, it can still be possible to argue that you had special reasons to drive even though you accept that you are guilty. The argument is that the special reasons mean that although you will be convicted, the court should not impose a driving ban. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

If you had to move your car e.g. from a hazardous parking space after you have consumed alcohol, you may wish to argue that the distance driven was very short. In many cases this can a difficult argument to put forward since the court often does not look particularly favourably upon driving whilst over the limit – even for a short distance. In some cases, it can amount to a special reason for driving which can result in a avoiding a driving ban. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.

If the police reasonably suspect that you are driving whilst over the limit they can require you to provide a breath specimen however, the police cannot generally carry out random breath tests. To discuss this fully, call us on 0800 160 1645.


You may not need to pay all of your defence costs yourself. Some clients have legal cover as part of their insurance policy. This can contribute towards their legal fees.

For legal work and representation for a first hearing at court, most clients may be able to budget roughly between £1,200 and £1,600 (plus VAT). After a first hearing, for a full contested trial, many clients can budget between £7,000 and £13,000 (plus VAT) assuming that a case does not become prolonged. Each case is unique and we can provide a tailored estimate for you after discussing your particular case.

Call us on 0800 160 1645 to find out what your case may cost.

The cost for a case will depend broadly on the number of court appearances required, the amount of legal work to prepare for each hearing and the experience level of the lawyer or lawyers who represent the case at court.

A case will typically involve a first single hearing at court where sentencing will take place if a client pleads guilty at the first hearing, or both a first hearing and trial if a client pleads not guilty.

We typically estimate £950 plus VAT to prepare for a first hearing. There are typically three options for representation at a first hearing: i) a junior barrister in the region of £250 plus VAT plus travel; ii) an experienced lawyer in the region of £650 plus VAT plus travel; or iii) a senior lawyer at this firm in the region of £1,200 plus VAT plus travel.

We typically assume our time in court for a first hearing lasts no more than two hours but we are happy to spend more time in court if required at our standard hourly rates (below). Should a case be adjourned, further fees will apply.

Should a client plead not guilty at the first hearing, then in addition to the typical estimate above, our fee estimate for trial preparation after the first hearing is typically in the region of £5,000 to £10,000 plus VAT and counsel’s fee and any other disbursements – for example, the cost of an expert’s report. Trial counsel’s fee can typically be in the region of £1,750 to £2,250 plus VAT and an expert’s report can cost between £400 to £1,500 plus VAT. – In prolonged cases with additional work and several hearings, our fees for trial preparation may reach £15,000-£20,000 plus vat or more, as well as counsel’s fee for each hearing and any other disbursements such as for expert reports

Typically the court will pay for the expert to attend trial.

The above typical estimate assumes:

  • there is no special reasons hearing,
  • our work will not extend beyond the scope set out above,
  • a case proceeds to an effective trial or special reasons hearing without adjournment or interim hearings,).

Our services are provided by a department of the firm called the Regulatory Solutions Department. Standard hourly rates exclusive of VAT for members of the Regulatory Solutions Department are typically: Partners, between £375 and £550; Associates, between £300 and £375, Assistants, between £240 and £300 and trainees or paralegals, between £130 and £250.

The above typical fee estimate does not include:

  • Any costs caused by adjournment,
  • Preparation or advice in respect of interim hearings,
  • Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal,
  • Work related to any further case management hearings or pre-trial review,
  • Any interim applications to the court,
  • Any additional instructions from you or changes to instructions from you,
  • Any work caused by the delayed provision of information or instructions from you,
  • Any issues caused or raised by disclosure, the evidence or CPS correspondence.

If you call us on 0800 160 1645, we can provide an estimate based on your particular case.

Ince, an international law firm, is part of Ince Group PLC which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has over 900 staff across seven countries around the world. Our specialist motoring defence team operates primarily from our London office.