Always wondered if it’s really safe to drive home after one or two pints? Here’s what the law says about drink driving.

THE DRINK DRIVE LIMIT

The law is strict when it comes to the drink drive limit, or how much alcohol you’re legally allowed to have in your system if you’re driving.

The limits are different in Scotland from the rest of the UK.

See the table below.

THE DRINK DRIVE LIMIT

 

Level of alcohol

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

 Scotland

Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath

35

22

Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood

80

50

Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine

107

67

 

 

HOW MANY DRINKS CAN I HAVE IF I’M DRIVING?

It’s difficult to translate the legal limit into a number of drinks; it’s different for each person.

It will depend on your weight, age, sex and metabolism, as well as the type and the amount of alcohol you’re drinking, what you’ve eaten recently and your stress levels at the time.

It takes the average person around one hour to process one unit of alcohol. Our advice is simple: if you’ve been drinking, don’t risk it and don’t drive. Don’t forget, the police can stop you at any time and ask you to take a breath test. If you refuse and don’t have a ‘reasonable excuse’ you can be arrested.

DRINK-DRIVING PENALTIES

If you’re found guilty of drink-driving you could face prison, a driving ban and an unlimited fine. You could face the same penalties for refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis.

If you’re found in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit you may also get similar penalties. There’s no strict legal definition of ‘being in charge’ of a vehicle, but it could be sleeping in a car while over the limit and in possession of the keys or supervising another driver while over the limit.