Frequently Asked Questions
We are often asked the same questions over and over again. We are happy to answer them if you give us a ring, but to help you when we are closed, please find some answers to our FAQs. This is a page that is being added to regularly so please feel free to come back another time and look or send us a question.
Why do you ask us to fill in a questionnaire?
We ask you to fill in an alcohol questionnaire for a simple reason so that we can see at a glance if all the information we need has been provided. It also allows you to see that all the information is present and you or your client can check it. Our questionnaire is in a form which is similar to the Form MG DD/D used by the Police. Please try to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible.
We sometimes find that those solicitors who get a proof from their client may miss out key information such as time drinking started or glass sizes; or a full proof may include things that you don’t wish the Court to see. Our experts have often been asked to produce the questionnaire to the Court whilst giving evidence and have found over the years that simplicity is usually best.
If you have any problems filling out the questionnaire, give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions.
A link to download our questionnaire can be found at the top of the page.
We don’t know our client’s exact height and weight but it doesn’t matter does it?
The whole basis of a Alcohol BAC Calculation is calculating an individual’s likely alcohol level based upon factors which include their height and weight.Rather than getting it “sort of about right”, why not take an extra few minutes and get your client to get their actual height and weight from a local pharmacy or somewhere similar. That way we can all get it right first time.It could make the difference between their account adding up and them being below the limit or not!
What is the Widmark thingy?
The Widmark equation is the way in which we take an individual’s height, weight, age and gender and use them to estimate the amount of water in their body into which any alcohol they have consumed will be dissipated.
If you think of the body like a bucket of water, then if you put a small amount of dye into the bucket, the colour of the water will be lighter when the bucket was full and darker in colour if the bucket was half full etc.We use the Widmark equation to calculate how much water was in the bucket when the dye was added.
You talk about Widmark then change to Forrest or Watson; that can’t be right?
The Widmark Factor was derived by Professor Widmark in the first half of the 1900s.Professor Widmark came up with a factor for men and a factor for women to convert their body weight to body water.
In the latter part of the 1990s it became apparent that the basic calculations were correct but the factors used for men and women were not fixed and a number of researchers carried out work coming up with methods to better determine an individual’s likely water content (or water fraction).Today in the UK we mainly use approaches derived by either Forrest or Watson to calculate an individual’s “Widmark Factor” but we still tend to refer to the calculated figure as the “Widmark Factor”.