Second Drink Driving Offence – M.A.J. Law

Prison Min

Your second drink driving offence

If you face being convicted of a second drink driving offence, you need to act fast. M.A.J. Law can explain your options and support you through the next steps. The earlier we can intervene, the sooner we can make a difference.

If you would like to read about drink driving defences, take a look at our most recent info-page.

As this is your second offence, you’ll no doubt be aware of the serious consequences if convicted. Unfortunately, it gets a lot more serious the second time around. The penalties you might face include;

  • A prison sentence
  • A mandatory three year diving ban
  • A High Risk Offender

A Prison Sentence – What are the chances?

A prison sentence is always a last resort for the magistrates. You may narrowly escape a prison sentence by receiving a community order or a suspected sentence. If, however, you received either of these two things for your first offence, it is highly likely the magistrates will send you to prison. If this is your third drink driving offence, you will almost certainly receive a custodial sentence. You can read more about drink driving prison sentences in our sentencing guidelines booklet.

Factors increasing the likelihood of a prison sentence;

  • A previous drink driving or failing to provide conviction within the last 10 years
  • Any obvious aggravating feature (e.g. a collision, a very high reading, a child in the car etc…)
  • Being charged with two or more offences at the same time

A Mandatory Three Year Driving Ban – Can I avoid it?

Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 requires the court to impose a minimum three year disqualification where you have a previous drink, drug or failing to provide conviction within the last 10 years (including ‘unfit’ offences). ‘In Charge’ offences will not trigger the minimum three year disqualification period. The only way you can avoid the minimum three year driving ban, is by;

  • Successfully raising a special reason
  • Avoiding a conviction
  • Entering a ‘basis of plea’ to an ‘in charge’ offence

N.B. Mitigation will not reduce the minimum three year driving ban.

However, under Section 42 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, you have a right to apply for the early removal of the disqualification.

A High Risk Offender (HRO)

You are automatically rendered a HRO if either of the following apply;

  • if you have a previous drink, drug or failing to provide conviction within the last ten years
  • you provide a breath reading above 87.5 microgrammes
  • you are convicted of failing to provide a specimen

You can read more about the HRO scheme at our dedicated page.


Want to know more about drink driving penalties for a second offence?

Read our Sentencing Guidelines Booklet