Drink-driving information


The UK has tough laws against drink driving. These undoubtedly save many lives, but it is possible for responsible and conscientious drivers to fall foul of drink-driving rules. This can result in criminal prosecution, harsh penalties, and knock-on effects including the loss of your job.

If you think there might be mitigating circumstances, speak to a specialist motoring solicitor.

What are the levels of alcohol permitted?

You will be committing a drink-driving offence if you drive with more than 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, or a blood alcohol level of more than 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The police can ask you to take a breath test if they:

  • See you driving erratically or failing to obey the usual rules of the road
  • See you moving towards a car and believe you are under the influence of alcohol
  • You are involved in a road traffic accident they have been called to

What are the penalties?

Those convicted of drink driving are normally subject to a ban of at least 12 months, and in addition penalties can include points on the licence, fines and even prison sentences.

Courts decide on the penalty, taking into account the mitigating and aggravating factors that apply to your case and use official sentencing guidelines.

Solicitors with experience of drink driving cases are familiar with the official guidelines and how courts apply them in practice, and will present your case in its best possible light. This could result in you receiving a significantly lower penalty than if you did not have legal representation.

If you are breathalysed and found to be over the drink driving limit you might think there is no option but to plead guilty.

Are there any defences?

You might be surprised to know that there are several defences to drink driving. These can include:

  • Police officers failing to follow the appropriate procedures when testing you for alcohol levels and arresting you
  • Your drink being spiked
  • Having to drive due to an emergency

A solicitor will review your case thoroughly and advise you of any possible defences.

Being prosecuted for drink driving is a stressful and distressing experience. A solicitor can be a great support during the process and could help you get a lower penalty or avoid prosecution entirely.

Contact Law can offer you recommended solicitors in your area specialising in motoring offences and drink driving. Go to our motoring page for more details on local firms or call us on 0800 046 1464.

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