Successful defence of drink driving charge

Posted by Tim Williamson on
Miss O was charged with drink driving and was due to appear for a trial at Ipswich Magistrates Court. 

On the day in question she had been at her then boyfriend's house (Mr A) into the early hours of the morning.  She was then punched to the ground by Mr A and threatened with further violence.  She was desperate to get out of his flat and so grabbed her car keys and ran downstairs towards her car. Mr A was chasing her.  She did not know the area very well and had not been able to pick up her phone in her rush to leave the flat. 

Miss O knew there was a police station a short distance away.  She drove away from Mr A who was still chasing her and managed to find her way to the police station.  She flagged down a police officer and explained what had happened. 

The officer took her into the police station and took a statement –but also noted that he could detect alcohol on her breath and so required her to take a breath test!  Miss O was then arrested for drink-driving! 

We argued that she had a defence  - duress of circumstances / necessity and a skeleton argument was filed with the court.  The Crown Prosecution Service then formally discontinued the case before trial meaning that Miss O did not have to go through the ordeal of a trial and did not risk being convicted of the offence and banned from driving.


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Tim is a leading Criminal and Regulatory lawyer, who defends businesses and individuals under investigation by the police and regulatory bodies and when accused of criminal offences.

Tim Williamson
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