Driving above the drink drive limit can have serious consequences and impact not only the drink diver but other motorists and pedestrians. At Broadbents Solicitors, we have a wealth of experience in handling drink drive cases and discuss this topic further in our latest post.
What is The Drink Drive Limit?
Whilst some people believe that they can safely drink a certain number of drinks and not be over the legal driving limit, the truth is that it is impossible to say how many units will take an individual over the legal limit as each person is different.
There are strict alcohol limits in place for drivers and the below information shows the alcohol limits in place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland has separate and lower limits.
Level of Alcohol
Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath 35
Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood 80
Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine 107
The way alcohol affects an individual will depend on various factors, including the type of alcohol they are drinking, if and what they have recently eaten, weight, metabolic rate and even the stress levels being experienced at the time. Consequently, if you are the designated driver, it is always safer to avoid alcohol completely.
Can I Drive The Morning After?
Whilst you may feel ok after to drive after a night of drinking, just because you’ve been to sleep does not mean that the alcohol has left your system.
Being below the legal drink drive limit will all depend on how much you drank the night before and how much time you’ve given your body to break down the alcohol in your system. Despite some popular myths, there is nothing you can do to speed up the process and it falls mainly to the enzymes in your liver which break down the alcohol.
If you know you will be driving the next morning, it is best to stick to lower strength alcohol and switch to soft drinks well before the end of the night. You may also alternate your alcoholic drinks with soft drinks through the course of the night.
Drink Driving Penalties
If you are found guilty of drink driving, there is are a variety of punishments you can be subjected to, including a fine, a driving band and/or imprisonment. The punishments you receive will depend on the severity of the case. Information from https://www.gov.uk/drink-driving-penalties states the following:
|Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit due to alcohol||You may receive a 3 months‘ prison sentence, a driving ban, up to £2,500 fine.|
|Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink||You may receive a 6 months’ prison sentence, a driving ban of at least 1 year, an unlimited fine.|
|Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis||You may receive 6 months’ prison sentence, a driving ban for at least 1 year, an unlimited fine.|
|Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink||You may receive a 14 years’ prison sentence, a ban from driving for at least 2 years, an extended driving test before your licence is returned.|
Aside from facing legal penalties, being found guilty of drink driving could also cause a variety of other issues, including:
An increase in car insurance
Problems at work – if you drive as part of your job
An issue travelling to countries such as the USA
Reporting a Drink Driver
If you see someone that is drunk and about to drive or attempting to drive a vehicle, you must call the police on 999, as the consequences of the action could be extremely serious. To give the police the best chance of stopping the drunk driver, you must try and provide the following information:
The vehicles registration number
A description of the vehicle including the make and model
A description of the drunk driver
Any other information you have such as where they may be driving to, where they usually drink or if they have any access to any other vehicles that you know of
Whilst you may be able to talk a friend out of driving whilst drunk, you may not feel safe talking to a stranger. If you are out at a bar or club and see someone you don’t know attempting to get into a vehicle to drive, you should tell security guards or bar staff immediately, as they are often trained on how best to handle these situations. You or the bar staff will also need to call 999.
Even if you don’t have any evidence, never be afraid to report a drink driving incident after the event has taken place. You can report such cases by calling 101 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Broadbents Solicitors – Drink Driving Offences
The specialist team at Broadbents Solicitors have been providing expert advice regarding drink driving offences for many years. To speak to a member of our team, please call 01332 369 090 or send your enquiry through to our online contact form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.