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Driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs

This offence is not as commonly charged by the police as drink or drug driving however, it is still a very serious offence and has very similar penalties to those offences. If convicted or entering a guilty plea, the Court has to impose a disqualification for a minimum of 12 months. The disqualification is in addition to either a fine, community order or custodial sentence dependent on the severity and circumstances of the case.

If you are charged with an offence of this nature, it is important you seek specialist advice from the very outset, to limit the extent of the penalties and obtain the best outcome. Make a confidential enquiry using our contact form below and our expert team will call you to discuss your case in more detail.

What does it mean to be unfit?

Being unfit to drive is defined in law as being when someone’s “ability to drive properly is, for the time being, impaired”.

To ascertain if a person’s driving is impaired a police officer should conduct a preliminary impairment test, which is a series of physical tasks set by a police constable usually at the roadside. The police should use a specific form, which contains specific wording and instructions for each test.

In order to prove that you were driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs the Police do not need to show you were over the prescribed limit of either alcohol or a specified drug by obtaining a specimen of breath, blood or urine. Instead the Prosecution will rely on an alleged level of impairment.

Is there any defence?

There is a specific defence in law to this offence, under section 4(3) Road Traffic Act 1988 if it can be shown that at the material time the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of driving for as long as you were unfit through drink or drugs.

If you need advice about your case you can make a confidential enquiry with our road traffic defence solicitors on 0161 930 5151 or email crimeandregulatoryteam@gorvins.com

Alternatively please complete the contact form on this page and we will contact you as soon as possible.

If your call is out of normal office hours please call 07843 978201 and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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Meet the Crime and Regulatory team

  • Paul Reddy

    Partner & Co-Head of Crime and Regulatory
    Crime and Regulatory

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  • Amanda McIntosh

    Associate
    Crime and Regulatory

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