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Drink driving defences

Drink driving defence

Under the Road Traffic Act of 1988, it is an offence (under section 5) for any person to drive, attempt to drive or be in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol, above a prescribed level, in their system. In most cases where a driver is breath tested and found to be over the legal alcohol limit they will be charged with the offence and either plead or be found guilty of the same.

However, there may be certain mitigating circumstances surrounding the event, which might provide a defence and make a challenge to the prosecution appropriate. Those mitigating circumstances which could form a drink driving technical defence may include: post incident drinking, unwitting consumption of alcohol (as in spiked drinks or consumption of domestic beverages with unexpected alcohol content) and non alcoholic substances on the breath which could affect the breathalyser result and aid a drink driving technical defence.


Forensic experts in the preparation of drink driving defences

Drink driving defences expert

Dr Iain Littley                    


Forensic Chemist             

Steven Lomas C.Chem MRSC MFScSoc


Drink driving defenceS   


Stanley Porter BSc.                 

Drink driving defence - Case example

Driver stopped by police whilst driving home after attending a social gathering at a relative's house. He gives a positive breathalyser test at the roadside, but denies consuming any alcohol. An evidential breath test result shows he is over the legal alcohol limit and he is charged under section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Whilst at the relative's house the driver had consumed several glasses of iced coffee, which he later finds out was laced with brandy.


How can we help with your drink driving defence?

Our drink driving expert witnesses have many years of experience in alcohol analysis (all previously Home Office authorised) and interpretation of the results of those analyses.


Our forensic scientists can:



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