Under section 4(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence for a person to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place whilst unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

A person convicted of an offence under section 4(1) may face a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine of up to £5000. Moreover, the court is obliged to impose a period of disqualification of between 12 to 36 months.

This sort of charge will often be brought where no breath, blood or urine sample is available to the authorities and accordingly great reliance will be placed by the prosecution on evidence from medical witnesses such as police surgeons and hospital staff who may have dealt with the accused.

Resort can also be made to roadside competency tests performed by the police and the police witnesses’ evidence on the manner of driving.

It is vital for any person charged with an offence of this nature to seek expert legal advice at an early stage. Find out more about drink driving defence in Scotland here.

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