Drink Driving: Can I Keep My License?

Drink driving is a serious offence that can result in disaster, but many people are surprised to find that it carries a mandatory sentence of an automatic driving disqualification, and a loss of driving license for 2 or 3 years if convicted in court (whether following a guilty plea or a contested hearing).

Many people arrested for drink driving are shocked to find that they are over the acceptable blood alcohol limits, and are very sorry to have made this mistake. In this circumstance, drivers often contact a solicitor to query whether their driving license can be saved, especially if they rely on driving for their career.

Drink Driving Convictions:


If a driver is convicted in court for drink driving, including being drunk in charge of a vehicle, he or she will be given an automatic minimum driving disqualification, which will last between one year and three years for a first offence. The length of the ban depends upon the level of alcohol concentration in the sample of blood, urine or breath the driver was asked to provide.

If a driver is found guilty of a second or subsequent drink driving offence, he or she can expect a driving ban of between two and six years.

As well as a driving ban, the driver can be given a fine of up to €5,000, and could also be imprisoned for up to six months, although this would be very unlikely for a first offence.

Being convicted in a court makes these sentences mandatory, and a judge has no discretion to waive or reduce them. Circumstances such as relying on driving to earn a living cannot be taken into account in this situation.

How Can I Keep My Driving License?

The only possibility of avoiding a driving disqualification is to successfully contest the charge against you.

It may seem unlikely that anyone could successfully contest a positive blood, urine or breath sample that shows a driver to be beyond safe driving limits, but it should be remembered that technical errors are not uncommon. Furthermore, the process that the Garda must follow in terms of arrest, detention and taking of specimens is extremely rigid. A problem with this procedure could give rise to a technical defence that leads to an acquittal.

Successfully challenging a charge of drink driving may not be highly likely to result in an acquittal, but it is a possibility, and your solicitor will work with you to achieve the best outcomes. You should ensure that he or she has plenty of experience in this area, as this will maximise your chances of success.

Find Expert Drink Driving Solicitors in Ennis And Clare

If you need legal advice, talk to our expert solicitors to find out how we can help. Contact S.T. O’Sullivan & Co Solicitors in Ennis, Clare to discuss your situation, and we will arrange a free consultation without obligation. Simply call into our office in Ennis, Co.Clare, contact us online, or call us today on +353 (065) 6820620. We guarantee to call you back to discuss your case within one business day.