Call us today - 01252 523600

Call us today - 01252 523600

Criminal Defence

Road Traffic Offences

Have you been charged with a road traffic offence?

Losing your driving licence can have significant repercussions for every area of your life. It may place your job at risk or affect your ability to get your children to school or your ability to look after a relative. 
Indeed, even the imposition of penalty points on your licence can lead to a significant increase in your insurance premium.
We deal with all types of road traffic offences from simple speeding offences to the most serious offences such as causing death by dangerous driving. We work closely with a whole network of experts who can assist us such as in providing a back calculation to determine your alcohol level or a full reconstruction of an accident.

Special Reasons


Exceptional Hardship

The 'Hip flask' Defence


Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme

Criminal Defence Services

Road Traffic & Driving Offence Solicitors based in Aldershot, serving clients across the UK

Protect your driving licence and livelihood with expert legal guidance from a specialist team now. 

Special Reasons

When you are charged with an offence for which the court is obliged to disqualify you from driving for upon conviction you may be able to persuade the court to disqualify you for a shorter period or not at all if the court thinks fit to do so. 

The Court of Appeal (in R v Wickens (1958) 42 Cr App R 436 (CA)) has established that, to constitute a special reason, a matter must:

    be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
    not amount in law to a defence to the charge;
    be directly connected with the commission of the offence;
    be one which the court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing sentence.

A Special Reason cannot be something peculiar to you. There are also restrictions about when a Special Reasons argument can be used. Please contact us to discuss your particular case and allow us to provide a free no obligation quote.

Examples of Special Reasons


Shortness of distance driven

Spiked drinks

Exceptional Hardship

Exceptional Hardship is an argument you can advance when you are charged with an offence for which a discretionary disqualification from driving can be imposed. This often means when you are facing a disqualification under the “Totting Up” penalty points procedure.

What is Exceptional Hardship?

It is exceptional inconvenience or suffering beyond what is deemed appropriate caused by a totting up ban.
You must provide sound evidence that your circumstances mitigate the offence caused. This must be exceptional and must cause external suffering to dependents. Witnesses may be required to support your argument and you will have to give evidence in support of your claim.
Following the making of an Exceptional Hardship claim the court can reject your claim and proceed to impose the disqualification in full; accept your claim but only reduce your period of disqualification in part; or accept your claim and not disqualify you at all.
You cannot make a case for exceptional hardship for offences carrying mandatory disqualification such as drink or drug driving. Please contact us for advice if you believe you may have a case of exceptional hardship. 

Examples of Exceptional Hardship

Impact upon caring for family members

Prohibit the accessing of medical treatment and or care

Preclude you from carrying out a crucial community role

The “Hip flask” Defence

This is a factual defence which can be advanced where someone is charged with an offence of drink driving or being drunk in charge of a vehicle. It arises when the police believe someone was driving whilst over the limit for alcohol but in fact the alcohol was consumed post driving. This defence can potentially also apply to offences of drug driving if it is argued that the drugs were consumed post driving. 

The defence is designed to rebut the presumption in law that the amount of alcohol measured in a motorist’s breath, blood or urine is not less than the amount of alcohol in their system at the time of driving.
A defence such as this will often require the instruction of an expert to conduct what is known as a back calculation to establish how much alcohol was in a person at the time they were driving. Other sources of evidence to assist in establishing this defence can be in the form of witness testimony or CCTV.

Ordinarily, the prosecution has to prove to a court so that is satisfied so that it sure of your guilt. If you raise this defence it will be up to you to prove on the balance of probabilities that:

    you consumed alcohol before you provided the specimen or had it taken from you, and after the time of the alleged offence; and
    after you had ceased to drive, attempt to drive or be in charge of a vehicle on a road or other public place; and
    that had you not done so the proportion of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine would not have exceeded the prescribed limit; 
    and if it is alleged that you were unfit to drive through drink, the proportion of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine would not have been such as to impair his ability to drive properly

This defence can work but is difficult to prove so please contact us to discuss the specific details of your case and enable us to provide a free no-obligation quote.

Section 5 Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988 - Driving or being in charge with alcohol concentration above prescribed limit

A person who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, or is in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in their breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit is guilty of an offence.
In relation to being in charge of a motor vehicle, a person is not guilty if they prove that the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of their driving the vehicle whilst the proportion of alcohol in their breath, blood or urine exceeded the prescribed limit.

Section 5A RTA 1988 - Driving or being in charge with concentration of specified controlled drug above specified limit (Drug Driving)

The offence at s. 5A RTA 1988 is driving, attempting to drive or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a specified controlled drug in the blood or urine in excess of the specified limit for that drug. It is a summary only offence that came into force on 2 March 2015. It brings enforcement of drug driving into line with that of drink driving, by introducing a strict liability offence to avoid the need to prove impairment. It seeks to enable more effective law enforcement to take place, with the aim of improving road safety by deterring potential drug drivers and bringing more drug drivers to justice.

A ‘controlled drug’ is stated at s.11 RTA 1988 to have the meaning given by s.2 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. A “controlled drug” is any substance or product for the time being specified in Part I, II or III of Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Section 5A(1)(b) and (2) RTA 1988 provides for an offence of driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.


Section 5A(3) RTA 1988 provides a defence if a specified controlled drug is prescribed or supplied in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and taken in accordance with medical advice. Section 5A(4) RTA 1988 confirms that the defence is not available if medical advice about not driving for a certain period of time after taking the drug has not been followed. There is no reverse burden of proof. If a defendant raises this, the Court must assume that the defence is satisfied, unless the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that it is not. The offence in S.4 RTA 1988 applies to those whose driving is impaired by specified controlled drugs taken in such circumstances. Section 4 RTA 1988 also applies to those whose driving is impaired by drugs that are not specified for the purposes of the offence.
Given that a defendant may have a medical reason for one drug but not another, it would be sensible to charge each drug offence separately; furthermore, as outlined below, given that the limits are different for each drug, there should be separate charges for each individual drug in any event.
Section 5A(6) RTA 1988 provides a defence to being in charge of a motor vehicle with a specified controlled drug in the blood or urine above the specified limit for that drug, if the defendant can show that there was no likelihood of them driving the vehicle while over the specified limit. This is similar to the defence in s. 5(2) RTA 1988.

Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme

When you are convicted of a driving offence involving alcohol it is usual for the court to give you the opportunity to participate in a rehabilitation course that can see your period of disqualification reduced by 25% and cannot equal less than three months. When offering you the opportunity to participate in the course the court will also:

    Specify the date by which you must complete the course
    Specify the date by which your period of disqualification ends if you complete the course
    Specify the reduction in the period of time you are disqualified from driving
    Specify the date by which your period of disqualification ends if you do not complete the course.

You will be asked to nominate the name of a course provider by the court. Each court will have a list of local providers. You must complete the course at the expense of your own time and money. It is unlikely the court will offer you the chance to participate in a second course without good reason. 
It is important to note that there is not an equivalent scheme available for people convicted of driving offences involving drugs. 


At Levales Solicitors, we have years of expertise in helping those accused of road traffic offences as well as all other criminal matters. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help you. 

I am not used to using a solicitors, this was the first time in my life that I had to use a solicitor and everything was explained to me very clearly. I was very happy with the advice and support I received.

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