Q. I was stopped by the police after my works Christmas party. I was breathalysed and found to be just over the legal limit for alcohol. I had no idea that I'd had too much to drink and I will lose my job if I lose my driving licence. Can I be given a large fine instead of a driving ban?
If you are guilty of driving with excess alcohol, the shortest time for which you can be disqualified from driving is 12 months. The magistrates can, however, make an order that your period of disqualification be reduced by a quarter if you attend a Driver Rehabilitation Course, to educate you about the effects of alcohol, within a set period of time.
The only circumstances in which you can avoid a driving ban are very limited and arise only where there is something exceptional about the offence - for example, driving to a place of safety to escape a dangerous attacker. The fact that you will lose your job isn't one of those exceptional factors.