Drink Driving Law

For many motorists, drink driving laws are confusing. At JMW, our expert solicitors are here to help you understand the legislation regarding this area of the law and find out whether you are able to mount a defence against any drink driving charge you are currently facing.

To get in touch with our specialists, call 0800 804 8159 or complete our online contact form.

To get in touch with our specialists, call 0800 804 8159 or complete our online contact form.

Drink Driving Penalty Calculator

Answer the 4 questions below to get an idea of what the penalty for your motoring offence could be.

  • Type
  • Reading
  • Convictions
  • Circumstances
  • What type of test were you given?

    • Breath
    • Blood
    • Urine
  • What was your breath reading?

    • 36-59
    • 60-89
    • 90-119
    • 120-150

    What was your blood alcohol level?

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    • 138-206
    • 207-275
    • 276-345

    What was your urine alcohol level?

    • 108-183
    • 184-274
    • 275-366
    • 367-481
  • Have you had any conviction for drink drive related matters in the last 10 years?

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    • No
  • Were you stopped by the police due to the manner of your driving or after being involved in an accident?

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    • No
  • Result

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Legislation Surrounding Drink Driving

Section 5 of the  Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it a criminal offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in a person’s breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit.

In the UK, the current prescribed drink drive limit is:

  • 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of breath 
  • 80mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood 
  • 107mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine

A police officer may ask anyone to take a preliminary breath test at the roadside if they have reasonable cause to suspect that they are under the influence of alcohol and:

  • the person is driving, attempting to drive or in charge of a vehicle on the road or in a public place such as a car park;
  • a moving traffic offence has been committed; or
  • an accident occurs owing to the presence of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place.

If a person is suspected of drink driving and/ or fails the preliminary roadside breath test, they will be placed under arrest and transferred to a police station where they will be required to provide two evidential breath specimens for analysis.

Once  two satisfactory breath specimens have been obtained, if both readings are above 50 micrograms the police will normally charge a person with the offence of drink driving and bail them to appear at their local Magistrates’ Court on a later date. There can sometimes be a matter of only a few days between the arrest date and the first court hearing.

The Police will always require a person to provide two evidential specimens of breath for analysis, unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • The breath testing machine is unavailable, not working or unreliable;
  • The person has been involved in an accident and has been taken to hospital; or
  • The officer suspects that a person has a medical reason as to why they are unable to provide a specimen of breath.

Under these circumstances, the officer may require a person to provide a sample of either blood or urine.

If one or more of the breath readings obtained is 50 micrograms or below but in excess of the legal limit of 35mg, procedure dictates that the officer must provide a person with the option to replace their breath specimens with either a sample of blood or urine.

Contact JMW Today

To find out more about the law surrounding drink driving and the possible defences that are availalbe to you, get in touch with our specialist motoring solicitor today. Call 0345 872 6666  or complete our online contact form.

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