Guide to the Drink Driving Law
Let’s start with the basics: you’re over the drink driving limit if you have 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood; 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath; or 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.
Drink Drivers – A Caricature
Although some people do get behind the wheel when they can barely stand, let alone drive, most motorists who’re convicted of drink driving were convinced they were within the safe realms. Even being slightly over the limit can result in severe prosecution, including a driving ban, fine, and imprisonment. That extra half-pint may not seem much to you, but it could tip you over the edge.
After a heavy night spent drinking, many motorists consider themselves ‘fine to drive’ after sleeping off the alcohol. Unfortunately, the alcohol is likely to stay in your bloodstream overnight and through to the following evening, so driving in this condition could mean getting pulled over and arrested.
How Many Drinks Can You Have?
Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling instinctively how much your body can handle before you’re over the limit – it varies from person to person. That’s why it’s always wise to leave off the alcohol altogether, if you plan to drive.
Drinking pumps up your risk of crashing by slowing down your reaction time, giving false confidence, and reducing concentration. We may take risks we usually wouldn’t, without realising that we’re putting ourselves and others in danger. Don’t gamble with the lives of those you love or fellow motorists and their families.
But Is It Really An Issue?
One in six deaths on the road are caused by drunk drivers. Every day, 250 drivers fail their breath test. Always take a taxi, use public transport, or stay overnight, if you drink alcohol.
How Severe Is The Punishment?
For first time offenders, you can expect a fine of up to £5,000, up to 6 months imprisonment, ten points on your licence, and disqualification of your licence. If you offend again within ten years, you will have your licence taken away from you for at least 3 years.
Morning after Alcohol Guide
Weak beers and ciders take at least two hours to leave your bloodstream after you stop drinking. Stronger beers and ciders take three hours.
After four pints of strong beer, you should leave 13 hours between your last pint and getting behind the wheel. For example, if you finish at midnight, don’t drive until 1pm the next day. If you consumed more than five large beers, you must wait 16 hours before getting into the car again (4pm the next day, if you finish by midnight).
One 25ml shot is an hour drink, whereas 35ml is an hour and a half. A double is a three hour drink. Again, drink more than four shots, and you should abide by the 13 hour rule.
These are all approximate guidelines. Where possible, wait an entire day before you start driving, after drinking a lot of alcohol. You never can be too safe.
Composed for drivingoffence.com motoring solicitors, who are specialists in road incidents and want to ensure people are kept updated with information about driving safely.