Caught drink driving? What happens next…

Drink Driving

If you have been caught drink driving, you will likely be worried about the consequences and what happens next. A drink driving conviction can have serious ramifications such as impacting your ability to work should the charge lead to disqualification, as well as the financial implications that a large drink drive fine could have.

If you are facing a drink-driving charge, our experienced team of motoring law experts can help and support you every step of the way. Contact us to find out more.

The drink drive limits

In England and Wales, the law clearly sets out the limits to which you must be under when operating a vehicle. There are three ways in which the police can check the amount of alcohol in your system:

1. Breath test

The limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

2. Urine test

107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

3. Blood test

80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

If you are asked for a test…

The police can stop you and request you give a breath test if they have reason to believe you have consumed alcohol. You must give a sample if asked, failure to do so can result in charges which can bring serious penalties.

Should you fail the roadside breath test you will be taken to a police station where you will be required to give two further breath samples. If the breath test shows you are 40% over the limit you will be offered the option to give a blood or urine sample. Note that every sample given will be used as evidence.

You are over the limit, what next?

In this case, you will be arrested and charged. Most likely you will be bailed and will have to attend court at a later date. Until the court date you will be able to drive, however, should the result of your court appearance be a ban, it will be effective immediately.

What penalties could you be facing?

The penalties vary depending on what you have been charged with. If you are charged with being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you could be facing:

  • three months in prison
  • up to £2,500 fine
  • a driving ban.

If you are charged with driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you could be looking at:

  • six months in prison
  • an unlimited fine
  • a one-year driving ban. This increases to a three-year ban if you are convicted twice within 10 years.

If you are charged with causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink, should you be convicted, the penalty could be:

  • 14 years in prison
  • an unlimited fine
  • a two-year ban
  • an extended driving test to get your licence back after completing your period of disqualification.

For refusing to give a breath, blood or urine specimen the penalty is:

  • six months in prison
  • an unlimited fine
  • at least a one-year motoring ban.

The best approach to take when it comes to drinking and driving is to abstain. It can be all too easy to exceed the drink drive limit without meaning to but the consequences can be life-changing.