Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol is an offence that carries harsh penalties, a criminal record and is frowned upon by many people and by employers or potential employers too. As a result, if you are facing drink driving charges, the implications of these charges in your life can be extreme.
The real issue with drinking and driving is that there is no definitive answer for how much is too much as it depends on your body size, your weight, how much food you’ve eaten and many other factors. However, you should be aware that the legal limits for drink driving are:
- 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath
- 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood
- 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine
Even if you are not driving your vehicle whilst drunk, you can be found drunk in charge of a vehicle if you decide to sleep it off in your car. Although this is not as serious of an offence as drink driving, there is a mandatory 10 points on your licence which could result in a ban due to totting up.
What are the penalties for drink driving?
If you are stopped and breathalysed at the roadside and found to be over the legal limit, you will be taken back to the police station for another more accurate breath test, which will be executed twice. The lower of the two readings will be used and if you are still over the legal limit you will be charged and summoned to appear in court.
The penalties you will face are:
- A maximum fine of £5,000
- 3 to 9 penalty points on your driving licence
- A mandatory driving ban of a minimum of 12 months
- Community Service
- Electronically Tagged Curfew
- Up to 6 months imprisonment
- If you are a new driver you will have your licence revoked and you will be required to pass your driving test again
- If you have 6 or more points on your driving licence already you will face a further ban of a minimum of 6 months due to totting up
- A Criminal Record
You can see that if convicted of drink driving, your life will be changed drastically, especially if you end up in prison.
Are There Any Defences?
One defence that could be used for the offence of Drink Driving is the hip flask defence. This means that you will need to show that you were only over the prescribed limit at the point of the police procedure being carried out due to the amount of alcohol consumed after driving and prior to being arrested by the police.
In such cases forensic evidence would be used to back calculate at the point of time which you were accused of driving the exact amount of alcohol that would have been in your body to prove your innocence. Cases with this defence often get dropped even prior to a trial taking place, however it is important to seek proper legal advice about your situation.