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Drink Driving FAQ

What does it cost?

Excess Alcohol/Drug Driving Trials

  • Fixed fee of either £5500+vat or £8000+vat depending on the level of representation required..

Other trials such as Due Care/Sec 172

  • Fixed fee of either £2500+vat or £4000+vat.
These fixed fees cover the cost of three Court appearances including one trial date.  Trials usually run between 2 and 6 months.

Exceptional Hardship Hearing

  • Fixed fee of either £950+vat or £1650+vat for senior level representation.

Guilty Pleas

  • Fixed fee of either £950+vat or £1650+vat for senior level representation.

All guilty plea hearings cover the preparation and one day at Court. Guilty pleas are usually concluded at the first hearing at Court.

The lower priced fixed fees do not give access to senior solicitors and are instead are dealt with in house by either legal executives or clerks and at Court by barristers or solicitors. Our senior supervising solicitors are usual at least ten years qualified.


We hope that you do not have cause to be dissatisfied with the service that we provide. Hammond Trotter Solicitors is committed to high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about your bill then in the first instance you may take the matter up with the fee earner in charge of your case on 0161 839 5117 or by post to our Manchester office.

If you are still dissatisfied Mr Hammond, a senior partner of this firm who is not directly dealing with your case, may be contacted directly. If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.

The contact details are at Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Website – Tel – 0300 555 0333 E-mail – [email protected]

More Frequently Asked Questions

Speed limits.

The UK speed limit depends on the vehicle and road type. The official speed limits can be found on our speed limits page as well as on the government’s website. There are also speed limit guidelines issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers on which speeds a prosecution should be sought, which can be viewed on our speeding page.

I have been caught speeding what should I do?

If you have been caught speeding and pulled over the attending officer will either offer the option of attending a speed awareness course or give a verbal warning of prosecution. If you have been caught speeding by a fixed position or mobile speed detector you will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution delivered to the address at which the offending vehicle is registered.

How to avoid a speeding fine

You can avoid paying a speeding fine by either being offered the option of taking a speed awareness course (you may not request to attend a course), whereby you will only have to pay the cost of the course, or you can contest the speeding charge in court. For more information of the speeding prosecution process see our speeding procedure page.

How to avoid a speeding penalty

You would be able to avoid having penalty points added to your driving licence if you take the offer of attending a speed awareness course if offered by the police, or you could contest the charge in court. For more information see our speeding procedure page.

How to contest a speeding ticket

The only way you can contest a speeding ticket is to take your case to court. This could be a lengthy and costly process which could be difficult to win as the prosecution only has to prove that you were speeding. If you decide to contest a speeding charge in court, the court may decide to impose harsher penalties on you and you could be liable for court costs. If you are considering contesting a speeding ticket we strongly advise you to seek legal advice from one of our solicitors in London or Manchester.

What if this is my first speeding offence?

Being a first offence does not offer any protection against being prosecuted for speeding. The attending police officer may offer you the option of attending a speed awareness course, attendance of which will mean you do not have points added to your licence. If you have gained your driving licence within 2 years of your offence you could lose your licence if you have acquired 6 penalty points or more.

How to check if you have been caught speeding

If you were not pulled over by the police at the scene of the offence and notified of your offence you will receive a Notification of Intended Prosecution (NIP) delivered to the registered address of the vehicle along with a Section 172 notice. See our page on police procedure for speeding for more information.

What if I have been caught speeding abroad?

The UK opted out if EU directive 2011/82/EU which increased cross border information exchange in road traffic cases. This makes it difficult for motoring offences committed in continental Europe to be traced to a UK vehicle. The UK has bilateral agreements with Ireland and the Isle of Mann for driver and vehicle information exchanges. If you commit motoring offences abroad whilst in a hire car your rental agreement will authorise the hire company pass on your details.

How many points can you get before being disqualified?

You can have up to 11 penalty points on your driving licence before it is removed under the totting provisions. There are some circumstances which may allow you to retain your licence even if you have over 11 penalty points. For more information see our driving ban mitigating factors page.

Where is my driving licence number?

Your driving licence number is number 5 on your driving licence. It can be found on your driving licence card as below.

How to remove penalty points from your licence

To remove any expired penalty points from your physical driving licence you need to apply to exchange your licence for a new one.

How long do penalty points last on my licence?

Driving licence penalty points, or endorsements will remain on your licence for 4 or 11 years depending on the offence. Offences for which penalty points will remain on your licence for 11 years are endorsement codes CD40 – CD70, which involve causing death and endorsement codes DR10 – DR61, which involve drink and drug driving offences.

How can I find out how many penalty points I have on my driving licence?

If you get a driving endorsement you will have to hand in both parts of your driving licence to the either the police, a fixed penalty office (FPO) or when you appear in court. The penalty points will be printed on the paper counterpart of your driving licence and will be shown there. You can also find out by contacting the DVLA on 0300 790 6801.

How many penalty points will I receive for not having road tax?

There are no endorsements for not having road tax, but you are liable for a fine of up to £1,000.

How many penalty points will I receive for not having an MOT?

There are no endorsements for not having an MOT, but though you are liable for a fine of up to £1,000.

How long can I lose my driving licence for?

How long you lose you driving licence for will be decided by the court and will be based on the severity of the offence. The government has the following guidelines for driving bans:

  • 6 month ban if you get 12 penalty points or more within 3 years
  • 12 month ban if you get a second disqualification within 3 years
  • 2 year ban if you get a third driving disqualificationFor more information see our driving disqualifications page.

How many penalty points am I allowed in my first year of driving?

Your driving licence will be revoked if you get 6 or more penalty points within the first 2 years driving.

What is a discretionary driving ban?

Most endorseable driving offences carry the option of a discretionary driving ban which is imposed in cases where it is felt that penalty points and a fine are inadequate punishment for the severity of the offence. The decision of whether to impose a driving ban is at the discretion of the Court which will take into consideration the circumstances of the offence, past record and any mitigating factors.

How can an exceptional hardship plea help me to avoid losing my driving licence?

There are allowances for mitigating factors regarding the imposition of a driving ban for exceeding 11 penalty points. A case can be made that you would face exceptional hardships if you were to lose your driving licence to allow you to keep it. This would need to be handled by an experienced motoring solicitor such as those on our team. Contact us for more information.

How many penalty points will I receive for not having motor insurance?

You are liable for 6 – 8 driving licence penalty points and up to a £5,000 fine for not having motor insurance.

What are the penalties for driving without a licence?

The penalty for driving without a licence is 3 – 6 penalty points and up to £1,000 fine.

Should you have any more questions please feel free to give us a call on 0161 839 5117 from Manchester & North while for London & South call 0207 903 5144.