Drink & Drug Driving is a strict liability offence. If you drive with excess alcohol or drugs in your system you have committed the offence. BUT the court has a discretion not to disqualify you if they find that there is a “special reason” for not doing so.
In our experience there are two main special reasons as follows:
- Emergency – if you can show that you had no choice other than to drive because of an emergency situation. Taking someone who is gravely ill to hospital in a remote area or being attacked and having to get away from your attacker are examples of the types of scenarios the Courts have accepted as “special reasons”.
- Spiked Drinks – if you can show to the court that, on the balance of probabilities, that you did not realise how much you alcohol or drugs you had consumed due to the intervention of a third party, the Court may accept this as a “special reason”. Examples of these are where someone inadvertently bought a vodka and coke instead of coke and did not realise or doubles are served instead of singles.