Last year, December saw a 16% increase in the number of motorists being caught for drink driving. Indeed, over 154 drivers were caught over the limit each day. As we head into the Christmas party season, we offer a timely warning to ‘know your limits’.
Drink driving limits
There are strict limits in England and wales in respect of drink driving. The current alcohol limits are:
35 micrograms per 100 ml of breath
80 mg per 100 ml of blood
107 mg per 100 ml of urine
However, it is impossible to say exactly how many drinks this equals. Indeed, how alcohol affects an individual depends on many factors. These can include, your gender, weight/body mass, age and metabolism, the strength and type of alcohol you are consuming, what you have had to eat. Moreover, even your stress levels and how tired you are can have an impact.
It is, perhaps, therefore not surprising that people struggle to know when they would be over the limit. In a recent survey, 36% of respondents said they were confused about the drink driving limits. Moreover, 37% said they would drive after having one drink, and 32% would feel safe to drive after two drinks. But don’t forget, two standard glasses of wine (175ml each) equates to roughly 4.2 units will put you over the limit.
You don’t even have to be driving to face prosecution. If you are caught “in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit” you could face a driving ban, a fine of up to £2,500 and even a 3-month prison sentence.
If you refuse to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis the penalties can be even harsher with up to 6 months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a driving ban of at least a year.
If you are involved in a fatal accident you could face prosecution for causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol. This could lead to a prison sentence of up to 14 years, an unlimited fine, a two-year driving ban. Additionally, you will be required to undertake an extended driving test before your licence is returned.
Drink driving conviction impacts your whole life
A conviction for drunk driving can cause additional problems for you, your work life and your home life. The impact can be severe and have implications for not just you but the whole of your family:
- You’ll face social stigma with colleagues, friends and family
- If you lose your licence it can impact the whole family as they are required to find alternative transport for daily living
- Your car insurance will go up
- There may be problems with your employer. If you drive for work, your conviction will show on your licence
- You may have trouble travelling to countries, such as the US
Contact a specialist defence lawyer
If you are being investigated or have been charged in respect of a drink drive offence, contact one of Wells Burcombe’s defence specialists straight away. Call us on 01895 449288, email us, or fill in our contact form. One of our defence lawyers will advise you of all your options and any defence or mitigation in respect of the alleged offence.