A criminal record is a list of a person’s previously committed crimes. In order to be contained within the list, the person must have been found guilty of the crime or admitted to the police that they had committed the crime. This information is contained on a database held by the police and can only be accessed by the police themselves of by the Criminal Records Bureau. Criminal records cannot be accessed by members of the public.
Possible penalties for drink driving
Driving with excess alcohol is the correct term used for the more commonly known offence of drink driving. Drink driving is a criminal offence contrary to Section 5(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and carries a mandatory disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 60 months. In addition to this disqualification, the offender will also be fined up to £5000, be given a community order or even be sent to prison for up to 26 weeks in more serious cases.
How a drink driving offence can affect your life
The offence will remain on an offender’s driving licence for 10 years and will result in the offender being given a criminal record. The Law governing criminal records is The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and according to this legislation, a criminal record should not have to stay with a person for life. However, the record will never disappear from the police database and will always be available to the police but for the purposes of disclosing criminal convictions, a conviction will eventually become spent (so long as the sentence imposed is less than 2 ½ years imprisonment) and the previous conviction need not be disclosed. The time spent will depend on the level of sentence imposed by the court but the usual time for a driving disqualification for a drink driving conviction would be the length of the disqualification, although this can be extended if the disqualification is coupled with a fine, community order or term of imprisonment.
Drink driving will therefore attract a criminal record and could affect future employment prospects and insurance premiums as well as the safety of not only the drink driver but also the safety of other road users.
If you believe you have been wrongly accused of drink driving it’s vital that you contact a driving offence solicitor who can increase your chances of acquittal and reduce the likelihood of acquiring a criminal record.
Here at Just Motor Law we have extensive experience of defending driver’s licences and supporting drivers throughout the whole procedure. If you’ve been accused of a driving offence, get in touch with one of our friendly, understanding team who can help you to contest a drink driving offence. You can contact us by telephone on 08454851226 or use our online contact form.