Drink Driving Laws UK
What is the legal drink driving limit in the UK?LEGAL DRINK DRIVING LIMIT IN ENGLAND & WALES, UK
England & Wales Drink Driving Limit
The maximum BAC (blood alcohol content) limit in England & Wales is:
35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
Scotland Drink Driving Limit
The maximum BAC (blood alcohol content) limit in Scotland is:
22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath
50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
67 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
Drink driving laws in the UK are strictly enforced and the penalties upon conviction can be severe. In the UK it is illegal to:
- Drive or attempt to drive with excess alcohol (while exceeding the legal limit)
- Be in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol (while exceeding the legal limit)
- Drive or attempt to drive while unfit through drink (alcohol) or drugs
- Be in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink (alcohol) or drugs
- Fail to co-operate with a preliminary road side breath test when required to do so
- Fail to provide an evidential specimen (blood, breath or urine) for analysis while driving or attempting to drive a vehicle
- Fail to provide an evidential specimen (blood, breath or urine) for analysis while in charge of a vehicle
- Fail to give permission for a laboratory test of a specimen of blood taken while that person was incapable of consenting
Upon conviction of any of the above offences a person will have a criminal record.
Upon conviction of a drink driving related offence, a person will face an obligatory (definite) or discretionary (possible) driving disqualification depending on the exact offence committed. For example the offence of driving a vehicle while exceeding the maximum legal alcohol limit carries a minimum mandatory driving disqualification of 12 months while being in charge of a vehicle while exceeding the maximum legal alcohol limit carries a discretionary driving disqualification and if no disqualification is imposed then 10 penalty points will be imposed on an offenders driving licence.
In all cases regardless of whether or not a disqualification is imposed, a driving licence endorsement will be added to an offenders driving licence which will remain for between 4 and 11 years depending on the offence. Additional penalties can include fines, community orders, court costs, compensation and in serious cases a custodial (prison) sentence.
Depending on the offence and/or the level of alcohol in a persons body at the time the offence was committed, a person could also face being classed as a 'high risk offender'. High risk offenders are required to satisfy the DVLA of their fitness to drive once their driving disqualification has expired by taking and passing a DVLA medical before their driving licence will be issued.
The law regarding drink driving related offences is complicated and due to the potential severity of sentences imposed, expert legal advice from a solicitor with experience of drink driving laws is always recommended.