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How To Avoid A Drug Driving Ban

How To Avoid A Drug Driving Ban

It should go without saying that if you’re trying to figure out how to avoid a drug driving ban, the first thing you need is expert legal advice.

Every potential approach listed below requires a professional advocate acting on your behalf. Not even the most charismatic individual can stand up in court, tell a magistrate a sob story, and expect to avoid a driving ban.

Reach out to us now on 0330 3411690 or complete a Free Online Enquiry to tell us about your particular situation and talk things over with one of our specialist drug driving solicitors for FREE and with no obligation.

To work out how to get off a drug driving charge, we first need to understand a little about how the police work and the grounds they charge you on before we move on to the methods that do and do not work:

How Can The Police Prove Drug Driving?

There are several ways the police may prove drug driving. They don’t need to have video footage of you driving poorly, though they can seek this out as supporting evidence. Instead, they will rely on escalating through the following:

  1. FIT at the roadside – a Field Impairment Test can be administered by the police at the roadside. They will ask you to do things like walk in a straight line. If your performance seems suspect, they will progress to other tests.
  2. Roadside swab test – the police have on-the-spot test kits that can detect the presence of certain drugs, chiefly cannabis and cocaine.
  3. Blood or urine test at the police station – if either of these seems to indicate that you may have been driving under the influence of drugs (or the police still suspect you are), you may be required to accompany the police to the station for a blood or urine test.

Do be aware that refusing to provide any of these samples is also an offence with equivalent penalties to the drug driving charge itself. Refusing to provide a sample is a mistake – definitely not an effective way to avoid a drug driving ban!

The police cannot force you to take a drug test. However, the best plan is usually to cooperate and then immediately get expert legal advice and representation.

Understanding Burden of Proof and Legal Presumption

In most drug driving cases, the Burden of Proof (i.e. whose job it is to prove you are at fault) is on the prosecution.

Lots of drug driving law is also relatively new. There aren’t even any official sentencing rules as yet – just guidelines. This means that the courts may look to established drink driving norms for guidance. This isn’t possible with a common drink driving presumption though.

In a drink driving case, the Legal Presumption is generally that the level of alcohol in your system when you were tested is the same as when you were driving. This isn’t exactly the reality, of course – especially if you are taken all the way back to the station before being tested.

This is even less the case with drug driving. This is because the only accepted form of evidence is a blood test. This can only be administered at the station. This means there will be a definite gap between the time you were alleged to have committed the offence and your levels being tested.

How To Avoid A Drug Driving Ban

There are several ways you can try to get off a drug driving charge. None of these can really be accomplished without expert legal representation though. With the support of a specialist drug driving solicitor, you can attempt to:

1) Prove Evidentiary Weakness

Like drink driving charges, the most effective method of avoiding a drug driving ban is to avoid going to court at all.

One of the most effective approaches we have used in our past successful drug driving defences is to show that the Crown Prosecution Service does not have enough evidence to meet that critical Burden of Proof.

There are also many times when the CPS – which has been chronically underfunded for the past decade and is very overworked – has made errors when handling evidence. These errors can be drawn attention to by us, meaning your case can be dropped.

2) Call An Expert Witness

An expert witness may be able to calculate that the time that has elapsed between the time you were tested and the time you were actually driving was sufficient for the sample not to be representative of the situation.

This can be particularly effective in cases where you consumed drugs between the time you were driving and the time you were tested by the police.

3) Point To A “Special Reason” Or Mitigation

These tend to be less effective ways of avoiding a drug driving ban, but they can work. A “special reason” or “mitigating factor” is taken from a list of reasons that a magistrate may accept to reduce the length of time they ban you from driving.

One of the still-murky legal areas here has to do with passive smoking of cannabis. The legal limit for this is 2μg/L, but there are arguments that passive smoking can create levels as high as 7μg/L. This may be accepted as a special reason but will depend on the magistrate and other factors.

Other potential mitigating factors include that you care for a vulnerable relative or that you drove for a very short distance in an emergency, for instance. Again, these are not always judged to be relevant and may depend on your specific case.

All in all, this is an approach that can work to help you avoid a drug driving ban. However, as with all of these methods, it works better coming from a professional advocating on your behalf.

So Why Not Speak To One?

Reach out to us now on 0330 3411690 or complete a Free Online Enquiry to tell us about your particular situation and talk things over with one of our specialist drug driving solicitors for FREE and with no obligation.

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