Contesting Driving Offences and the Road Traffic Act 2010
Legal advice on Road Traffic Law in Ireland and legal representation & advice on Contesting Driving Offences.
The results of committing a driving offence in Ireland can lead to paying a fine, receiving penalty points, disqualification from driving and/or imprisonment. In addition, the costs of insurance premiums for the offender are likely to increase significantly.
Twelve penalty points accumulated over a three year period means the driver would be banned for a period of six months. the points would then stay on the driver’s license for a period of three years.
Under the Road Traffic Act 2010 new drink driving laws have been implemented as of the 28th of October 2011.
It is always recommended that you would contact your Solicitor if you are being prosecuted for an offence in order to be fully advised of the options available to you to have the matter dealt with.
Any driver looking to contest the charges in court should know that this is an extremely risky option. It can lead to double the penalty points and an increased fine. The chance of successfully contesting the charges is very slim.
To contest a speeding offence, for example, you need to prove the speed gun was faulty or that the driver in the fixed penalty notice was no the owner of the vehicle, in which case the owner must nominate who was the correct driver. If you have any queries about the given information you can talk to our specialist motoring offence solicitors.
Finally, different penalties apply for different classes of drivers, there are 2 classes of drivers; Full valid licence holder and the second class is other specified persons;
Penalties for Full valid licence holders+
Full valid licence holder: Experienced Drivers
If at the time of driving your alcohol level is within the limits as set out below, you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice. If you comply with the fixed penalty notice and pay the fine on the notice within 28 days, the additional penalty stated on the notice will be imposed but you will not have to go to court. If you have received a fixed penalty notice within the previous 3 years you are not eligible for a drink driving fixed penalty notice.
Blood alcohol level per 100ml
Exceeding 50mg but not exceeding 80mg – €200 Fine & 3 penalty points
Exceeding 80mg but not exceeding 100mg – €400 & 6 months Disqualification
Breath alcohol level per 100mcg
Exceeding 22mcg but not exceeding 35mcg – €200 Fine & 3 penalty points
Exceeding 35mcg but not exceeding 44mcg – €400 Fine & 6 months disqualification
Urine alcohol concentration per 100 ml
Exceeding 67mg but not exceeding 107mg – €200 & 3 penalty points
Exceeding 107mg but not exceeding 135mg – €400 & 6 months disqualification
Penalties for other specified persons+
Other specified persons are defined as follows:
The holder of a learner permit or holder of a licence for a period not exceeding 2 years from its date of issue or drivers of tractors, drivers with trailers, professional drivers such as Taxi Drivers, Truck Drivers. Such offenders may accept the following penalty without going to Court.
Blood alcohol level per 100 ml
Exceeding 20ml but not exceeding 80ml – €200 Fine & 3 month Disqualification
Breath alcohol level per 100mcg
Exceeding 9mcg but not exceeding 35mcg – €200 Fine & 3 month Disqualification
Urine alcohol level
Exceeding 27mg but not exceeding 107mg – €200 Fine & 3 month Disqualification
Contesting the Penalty
If you wish to contest the penalty as set out above the option available to you is to contest the matter in Court. Different penalties apply for contesting the matter in Court. You may require assistance from a solicitor specialising in drink driving.
Blood alcohol level per 100 ml of blood 1st Offence & 2nd Offence
Exceeding 50mg but not exceeding 80mg – 6 months to 1 Year
Exceeding 80 mg but not exceeding 100 mg – 1 Year to 2 Years
Exceeding 100 mg but not exceeding – 150 mg to 2 Years 4 Years
Exceeding 150 mg or over – 3 Years to 6 Years
Refusal offences – 4 Years to 6 Years
Breath Alcohol Concentration
Exceeding 22mcg but not exceeding 35mcg – 6 months to 1 Year
Exceeding 35 mcg but not exceeding 44 mcg – 1 Year to 2 Years
Exceeding 45 mcg but not exceeding 66 mcg – 2 Years to 4 Years
Exceeding 67 mcg or over – 3 Years to 6 Years
Refusal offences – 4 Years to 6 Years
Urine Alcohol Concentration
Exceeding 67mg but not exceeding 107mg – 6 months to 1 year
Exceeding 107mg but not exceeding 135mg – 1 Year to 2 Years
Exceeding 136mg but not exceeding 200mg – 2 Years to 4 Years
Exceeding 201mg or over – 3 Years to 6 Years – Fine
The maximum fine one may receive upon conviction is €5,000.00 as per the road traffic act 2006.
How to find out how many points are on your licence?+
If you would like to know how many points you have on your licence, contact the Road Safety Authority at 1890 41 61 41 and quote your driver licence number.
Alternatively, contact your local Motor Tax Office.
Commencement of Proceedings.+
The prosecution of a Drunk Driving Offence commences in the District Court, we would suggest that once you have received a Charge Sheet or a Summons for an offence that you contact the office immediately to arrange a consultation with a driving offence solicitor.
Undefended – Plead guilty
Consultation prior to hearing, to liaise with Gardai on the morning of court in respect of evidence, representation at court, to enter plea of guilty on behalf of defendant, deal with any extenuating circumstances in respect of fine.
Defended – Plead not guilty and fight the charge at the hearing.
Consultation prior to hearing, to liaise with the Gardai on the morning of charge, representation at court, to enter plea of not guilty on behalf of defendant, secure a Gary-Doyle order (copies of all statements and evidence from the Gardai)
To review evidence on receipt from Gardai and to send evidence, for advice and opinion on defence to Barrister. To advise you in light of all evidence from Gardai.
To attend court on the hearing date, to defend charge, to cross examine Gardai on evidence, make submission to judge. (Deal with extenuating circumstances in respect of fine if necessary).
The prosecution of a Drunk Driving Offence commences in the District Court, we would suggest that once you have received a Charge Sheet or a Summons for an offence that you contact the office immediately to arrange a consultation with a drink driving solicitor specialist.
If you have been Disqualified you may apply to the District Court for an early restoration of your licence, you may only apply where you have received a Disqualification that is more than 2 years. The District Court may hear an application for an early restoration after you have served ½ of their Disqualification period and the Court may order the restoration of the licence after you have completed 2/3rd\u2019s of the disqualification period.
The Professional fee for an early restoration application is €910 plus Vat @ 23% – Total €1,101.00