Friday, 27 June 2014

What No Sunglasses?!

Guest Post by Stephen Oldham

Despite the drizzle, today was National Sunglasses Day. Here at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors we really had to scratch our heads to find a driving related story to help celebrate. A few topics came to mind: Do people wearing sunglasses drive faster than people who don’t? Can sunglasses reflect police radar guns? Does drink driving in sunglasses make you more likely to get stopped?

None of the subjects are much fun. So we had to think harder. How about some word association? Sunglasses, drink driving, sunglasses, going to court, sunglasses, celebrities, sunglasses speeding, sunglasses, sunglasses ... That’s it! Celebrities going to court for driving cases wearing sunglasses.

So, please take part in our...........

Celebrity Sunglasses Quiz!

All of these celebrities have been to court for driving offences. Which ones were wearing sunglasses?

  1.       George Michael                                Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
  2.        Graeme Swann                               Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
  3.        Katie Price                                      Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
  4.        Sarah Harding                                 Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
  5.        Ray Wilkins                                     Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
  6.        Barbara Knox                                  Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
  7.        Kara Kilbey                                     Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
  8.        Professor Green                               Sunglasses/No Sunglasses
Scroll Down For The Answers peeping now!

George Michael
An easy one to start. Here is George outside Highbury Magistrates’ Court facing charges of drink driving.

Photo courtesy of the Independent

Graeme Swann
No sunglasses and a smart respectful look for Graeme. Of course Graeme was found not guilty at a trial when he was represented by top drink driving barrister, Phillip Lucas.

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

Katie Price
A beautiful pair (of sunglasses) Katie … and a ban for speeding.
Photo Courtesy of the Daily Mail

Sarah Harding
Former Girls Allowed star sports her shades. She was banned for 6 months after a conviction for using her mobile phone whilst driving. Should have given us a call Sarah.

Photo courtesy of the Mirror

Ray Wilkins
No shades for Ray after a three day trial.

Photo courtesy of the Mirror

Barbara Knox
Good old Rita! Barbara’s case is awaiting trial at Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court. She denies the charge of drink driving. Not much chance for shades at Macclesfield where the sun rarely shines.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail

Rapper Professor Green
Our prize for the coolest shades goes to the Prof. Guilty to drink driving.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail

Cara Kilbey
TOWIE star Cara on her way to court (not in Essex) where she was banned for two years for drink driving, After the hearing she tweeted that she hoped others would learn from her mistakes.

Photo courtesy of

How did you do?

1-3 correct. Poor celebrity watching – need to subscribe to Heat magazine!

3-7 correct. Not bad. No driving ban for you.

8 correct. Well done!! Were the questions too easy?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Father's Day Motoring Thoughts

The majority of fathers consider themselves blessed by their daily contact with their children.  However, when a relationship breaks down between parents, contact can become a struggle particularly when the child or father move a considerable distance away. Whilst the antics of support group, Father4justice, often grab the headlines for the wrong reasons, we can't help but have sympathy for Dads when it comes to defending them to enable them to maintain contact with children from estranged homes.

Often working full time, many men consider their driving licence an absolute necessity in order to be in a position to visit their children mid-week, particularly in remote areas where transport links are poor.  Following a break-up, most fathers still wish to play a regular part in the upbringing of their children, and wish to continue to act as "taxi-driver" taking them to various clubs and activities. 

We also encounter fathers who wish to make the most of the time they have one-on-one with their children, who tell us of the difficulties that public transport would cause when traveling long distances to places such as theme parks.

For many dads, their licence is an essential link which facilitates regular access to their children. It is therefore understandable that when accruing one too many points on their licence threatens to jeopardise the regular contact which they treasure so much, hundreds of fathers contact our firm frightened and confused, seeking expert advice.

Fortunately, at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors, we have a proven track record of helping to save the licences of countless fathers who would otherwise have faced a six month disqualification for totting up, and the restricted access to their children which could have followed.

At Geoffrey Miller Solicitors, we understand that every case is different, and understand the importance of regular contact between father and child.

In most cases, we are able to secure either:
  • ·       A short term disqualification in order to prevent the person from totting up in the first place;
  • ·       A finding of exceptional hardship, whereby the person retains twelve or more points on their licence (until their usual expiration after three years). Under these circumstances, the person would not be disqualified at all.

In some cases it is even possible for us to secure a short term disqualification, where the licence is returned clean of points.

In the event that you are in the unfortunate position of totting up and facing a six month ban from driving, we urge you to contact Geoffrey Miller Solicitors to discuss the many ways in which we could help you.

And for the remainder of June 2014, if you are a single Dad, we will automatically apply a 10% discount on your fees.

So, if you are at risk of the loss of your licence, please give us a call on 08000852784.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

World Cup Drink Drive Warning!

GUEST POST BY Jonathan Berry

It’s that time again when England’s football fans unite and start to build the hope that it may just be England’s year. Despite everybody knowing we are probably worthy of no more than the quarter finals, we all are advocates of the idea that “you never know, we just may do it!”
Ok, as a football fan myself I know that is unlikely, but we can all dream…

With the World Cup being in the Samba capital of the world, the time difference means that most games will be televised in the evening. This is great news for the pubs and clubs around England who will no doubt be hosting England parties and showing the big games.

This may however also lead to an increase in drink driving convictions with people “chancing it” after a few pints watching the game.

We thought it would be interesting to see how the major EU World Cup participants match up in terms of driving laws and drink driving limits.


The legal limit is 35µg in breath, 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood and 107ml of alcohol in 100ml of urine.

This could result in severe penalties which includes a fine, community orders, imprisonment and a mandatory disqualification from driving of at least 12 month.

To air on the side of caution it is advised not to drink any alcohol before driving.



The legal limit in Spain is that the level of alcohol in the blood stream is 0.05 per cent or more.

This could result in severe penalties which includes a fine, confiscation of your vehicle and imprisonment.

After a traffic accident, all road users have to undergo a breath test.


The legal limit in Italy is that the level of alcohol in the blood stream is 0.051 per cent or more.

This could result in severe penalties which includes a fine, confiscation of your vehicle and imprisonment.

For professional drivers and those who have held their licence less than three years the alcohol limit is ZERO. It is prohibited.



The legal limit in Holland is that the level of alcohol in the blood stream is 0.05 per cent or more.

This could result in severe penalties which includes a fine, confiscation of your vehicle and imprisonment.

A lower limit of 0.02 per cent applies to new drivers for the first five years. In some cases a blood test will be necessary after a breath test.


The legal limit in France for general motorists is 50mg.

If a person is found to have between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in their system then they would be liable for a 135 Euro fine to be paid on the spot and 6 points (if French). The person would not be able to drive until their alcohol level drops below 50mg. 

If a person is found to have more than 80mg in their system, then the licence would be suspended for up to three years, there would be a fine of up to 4500 Euros and there is a possible custodial sentence of up to two years.



The drink drive level in Germany is 50mg. 

If a driver is found by the police to be over the limit then their licence will be confiscated immediately. They would be banned for a minimum of six months. Fines tend to range between $800 -$2000.

If the driver is under 21 years old or has been driving for less than two years then the drink drive limit is zero.

As you will see, each country has different laws and penalties for drink driving. We were shocked to see that in France you can even get a fine and points!
UK out of all of the countries have the highest prescribed legal limit. In the other EU countries mentioned, the blood alcohol level is almost half of that of the UK.  For new drivers in Germany, there is a ZERO tolerance rule which has been mooted in England many times.

The moral of the story is to be extra vigilant during the world cup and beware that “just 2 pints” may lead to a criminal conviction and a mandatory 12 month ban.

If you are unfortunately in need to legal advice for drink driving during the world cup, Call us now on Freephone 0800 085 2784 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange instalment plans to assist you.

Finally, for all of the believers, here is England’s potential route to glory:


 June 14 Manaus, 23:00: England v Italy

June 19 Sao Paulo, 20:00: Uruguay v England

June 24 Belo Horizonte, 17:00: Costa Rica v England


Match 50 - June 28 Rio de Janeiro, 21:00: Winner C v Runner-up D

Match 52 - June 29 Recife, 21:00: Winner D v Runner-up C


Match 57 - July 4 Fortaleza, 21:00: Winner Match 49 v Winner Match 50

Match 59 - July 5 Salvador, 21:00: Winner Match 51 v Winner Match 52


July 8 Belo Horizonte, 21:00: Winner Match 57 v Winner Match 58

July 9 Sao Paulo, 21:00: Winner Match 59 v Winner Match 60


July 12 Brasilia, 21:00


July 13 Rio de Janeiro, 20:00

Saturday, 7 June 2014

How To Stay Safe And Have Fun On Two Wheels!

Co-authored by Jeanette Miller and Vicky Miller

To people of a certain age, the image of a child riding their bike to school may conjour up the sounds of a brass band and images of a kid with a flat cap riding his old fashioned bike on the cobbled streets as part of a Hovis bread ad! Biking to school has, however, made a comeback since those days so much so that there is now an official week to commemorate and encourage it!

Thankfully most kids these days don't have to do a bread round before school!

Bike to School Week in the UK runs from 9-13 June 2014. A vast number of schools across the country are urging their pupils and teachers to dig out their bikes and cycle to and from school.

Whilst there are many obvious health and environmental benefits to cycling, it is also natural that parents have their concerns about allowing their children to cycle alone due to the dangers of the road. So here at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors, whilst we are the "go to" firm for motoring law expertise,  we wanted to provide parents with a quick guide to teach their children about road safety and outline a number of tips to ensure their bikes are roadworthy before this fun week begins.

Once your children are aware of road safety there will be no stopping them enjoying the freedom of cycling. It is likely to increase their confidence, fitness and that extra boost of energy before school should even help them to concentrate in class.

Before your child saddles up make sure they are taught the rules on road safety and their journey has been mapped out for them. It is encouraged to take your child on a few practice runs first so they know the exact route to take to and from school. They should be encouraged to ride with a friend if they can and the safer route should be taken even if it takes a few extra minutes.

Road safety hints and tips to teach your child

To signal clearly at all times – to hold out the right arm or left arm clearly for a number of seconds before turning;

·       Parents must ride behind the child or in a position where the child can be seen at all times;

·       Do not cycle on the pavements unless it is a designated cycle path;

·       You must cycle with the flow of traffic;

·       At night they must have a white light at the front, a red light at the rear and a red reflector;

·       It is recommended at night that they wear some reflective clothing;

·       They should use their bell to alert pedestrians if they are approaching behind them;

·       They should not go too fast and they should be prepared to slow down if needed; and

·     Be careful at junctions and bends – always slow down and do not set off if you cannot see around a corner.

Bicycle checks for the parent

You may think you are an experienced cyclist, but it can't hurt to consider this checklist before your loved ones set off next week, especially if the weather forecast is to be trusted!

Always ensure your child has a properly fitted helmet which is no more than three years old;

·       Check that the bicycle fits your child’s height and they have not outgrown it;

·       Your child must be able to touch the ground when seated on the saddle;

·      They must be able to reach the handlebars without stretching – if not the handlebars can be moved to the desired position;

·       Ensure the saddle is the right height and it is secure;

·      Ensure your child can reach the brakes and that both of them are working properly; and

·      Ensure no wires are rusty and the brake pads are not worn down.

Cycling is an increasingly popular sport amongst kids and adults alike, especially since the success of Team Sky and the incredible Bradley Wiggins Tour de France achievements. If you are interested in reading more about motoring laws relating to cyclist, check out our cycling special blog on  the website.

In the meantime, have fun on those wheels!!!!

(sources: Photo from the Daily Mail)