Case Report: Drunk in charge of a motor vehicle, Glasgow Sheriff & JP Court

November 15, 2019News


Case Report: Drunk in charge of a motor vehicle, Glasgow Sheriff & JP Court

November 15, 2019 News

Another one of our clients left Glasgow Sheriff & Justice of the Peace Court yesterday with his driving licence intact after a fantastic result.

Our client, Mr H, initially came to us for a free legal consultation with our specialist road traffic lawyer, Robert Sheridan, after being referred by a friend. Our client was charged with failing to provide a preliminary breath specimen and being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.

Understandably, our client was extremely concerned that he was going to lose his driving licence which would result in him losing his job. However, our expert road traffic lawyer was able to quickly put Mr H at ease by explaining that we were very confident that his driving licence could be saved.

The circumstances were such that Mr H had gone to the pub with a friend for a few drinks after work, he had parked his car in the pub car park and had intended on leaving it there until the following evening. He had arranged for his mother to collect him from the pub that evening and another work colleague was due to collect him and take him to work the next morning.

Howeve, prior to his mother collecting him, Mr H had gone to the car to collect his work equipment and, whilst doing so, the police approached him and stated that they suspected that he was drunk in charge of his motor vehicle. He was the asked to provide a preliminary breath test but refused and explained to the police that there was no point as he admitted that he was drunk but had not driven or attempted to drive the vehicle whilst drunk. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station and, after complying with a request for two breath specimens, he was charged with failing to provide a preliminary breath test and being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

In respect of the failure to provide the roadside breath test, Mr H did not have a defence insofar as, although he wasn’t aware it was an offence at the time, he did fail to provide a specimen of breath without reasonable excuse.

In respect of the offence of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle, Mr H did have a statutory defence insofar as if it could be demonstrated to the court that there was no likelihood of him driving whilst he was over the prescribed alcohol limit then he would be found not guilty.

Accordingly, our specialist road traffic lawyer carried out a forensic analysis of the crown evidence and investigated all aspects of the case to put together a very strong defence. He was able to obtain call and text records, trace witnesses and obtain a detailed expert toxicology report to support Mr H’s defence.

Once the case was fully prepared for trial, and Mr H’s case was at it’s strongest, our road traffic lawyer undertook discussions with the Procurator Fiscal and was successful in agreeing a plea bargain whereby he would plead guilty to the failure to provide a specimen of breath and his not guilty plea to being drunk in charge of a vehicle would be accepted.

Thereafter at the trial diet Mr H pled guilty to failing to provide a preliminary specimen of breath. Although this charge can attract four penalty points, the courts have been known to routinely disqualify drivers for this offence. Thankfully, following a bespoke and comprehensive plea in mitigation including the use of the latest case law, our Mr Sheridan was successful in persuading the court to impose four penalty points and a modest fine.

Mr H was delighted to have kept his driving licence and was relieved that his job was safe, particularly given the expense of the upcoming holiday season, and confirmed that he would recommend Sheridan Road Traffic Law to everyone!

If you have been charged with a road traffic offence then make sure you get the specialist legal advice and representation that makes a difference. Call us now for a free consultation; we’re available 24/7 on 0141 465 3333.



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