Frequently asked questions
It illegal to drive or be in charge of a vehicle after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in the blood, breath, or urine exceeds the ‘prescribed limit’. Currently, the prescribed limits are as follows: (1) for breath, 35 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres (ml) of breath; (2) for blood, 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood; and (3) for urine, 107 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine.
Yes, if you are convicted for driving under the influence of drink or drugs -- even if you’re a first time offender -- you will receive a mandatory minimum ban of one year.
It depends on the offence. For causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, the court has discretion to impose an unlimited fine; while some other drink driving offences carry a maximum fine of £1,000.
Again, it depends. Causing death by careless driving when under the influence carries a maximum custodial penalty of 14 years. In contrast, most other drink driving offences carry penalties of 3-6 months maximum imprisonment, and one (failure to co-operate with a preliminary/roadside breathalyser test) does not provide for the imposition of a custodial sentence.
The High Risk Offender Scheme covers drivers: (1) convicted of having a proportion of alcohol in the body two and half times or more over the legal limit; (2) convicted twice, within a 10 year period, for any drink driving offences; and (3) disqualified for failing without cause to provide a specimen for analysis. Under the Scheme, offenders must satisfy the Medical Advisor at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that they no longer have a drink problem and are otherwise fit to drive before their licence is returned.
If you are convicted of drink driving in the UK, the sentencing authority (usually the magistrates’ court in England and Wales or the sheriff in Scotland) may give you the opportunity to attend a rehabilitation course. You will have to pay for the course, but ordinarily the court will reduce the duration of your driving ban if you complete the course.
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