What to do when you’ve been charged with drunk driving

A court conviction for drunk driving in Ireland entails a mandatory disqualification from driving.  The length of the disqualification depends on the level of intoxication and the previous record of the accused but can be anywhere from 6 months to 6 years.

It is worth repeating that a court conviction will result in a disqualification from driving.  The Judge has no discretion and no matter how compelling your circumstances you will be disqualified if you are convicted.

I have often encountered clients who wish to plead guilty and yet keep their licence.  Their circumstances can be quite difficult:  they are employed as a driver, they have an ill child who must attend hospital regularly for treatment, they live in an isolated area with no means of travelling other than their car.  Without meaning to sound callous, none of this is relevant.  It may serve to reduce the fines but a disqualification will be imposed.

For this reason I believe it is of the upmost importance that you consult with your solicitor as soon as possible after you receive a summons or charge sheet for drink driving.  A good solicitor will be able to advise you of your rights and entitlements as a citizen when being processed under drink driving legislation.  This legislation has been carefully drafted to ensure that the rights of the citizen and public safety are both protected in equal measure as far as possible.  If the State has failed in the manner in which they have handled your case then you may be entitled to a dismissal of your case which is the only way to guarantee the retention of your licence.

If you have a query in relation to drink driving please feel free to contact me by email at liam@mccarthy.ie or calling me on our freephone number at 1890 390 555.

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