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Drink driving charges – 6 key questions answered

Drink driving laws and how they could affect you if you are to be charged for the offence of being over the limit while driving can be complex. Here are 6 commonly-asked questions answered on the subject.

Q – What is the legal limit alcohol limit for drivers?

A – The legal limits for alcohol depend on how that intake is being measured. So the limit if you are being breath tested is 35ug (microgrammes) of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The limit if you are having a blood sample taken is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood and if your urine is being tested for alcohol then the legal limit is 107mg per 100ml of urine.

Q – What if I drive my car for work-related purposes?

A – Needing to have a license in order to carry out your professional duties is not seen by the law as reason enough for you to avoid being given a driving ban. In fact, if you plead guilty or are found guilty on trial of having driven while over the legal alcohol limit then you will receive a mandatory ban of at least 12 months from driving.

Q – Could I be sent to prison for drink driving?

A – You can face a custodial sentence and time in prison if you are convicted of a drink driving offence. The general rule is that such sentences are only imposed in serious cases and usually when a driver is found to have been roughly three and a half times over the legal alcohol intake limit for the UK.

Q – Are there any situations when it is ok to drive while over the limit?

A – It is never ok to drive while over the legal limit for alcohol intake. However, if you can prove that your drink was spiked and you’d accidently taken in more alcohol that you thought before getting behind the wheel then a magistrate could take that into account. Similarly, if you find yourself having to drive because of a genuine emergency then your case will be handled differently than an ordinary drink driving scenario. These are known as special reasons.

Q – What if I refused to give a sample when pulled over by Police?

A – The idea that by failing or refusing to give a blood, urine or breath sample to Police when asked you might be able to avoid a conviction for drink driving is not accurate. In fact, the offence of failing to provide a proper specimen without a reasonable excuse carriers the same sentence as a conviction for drink driving, which is a mandatory 12 month ban from driving. However, where was a genuine reason for not providing the sample or the procedure was not followed correctly by the police this can be used as a defence.

Q – What happens if I’ve been convicted for drink driving before?

A – If you have already been convicted of drink driving and you are found guilty of the same offence again within 10 years then the court will impose a minimum 3 year ban.
Whatever the situation you find yourself in, if you’re worried about how to defend yourself in the context of drink driving allegations you should speak to expert drink driving solicitors such as Kenway Miller as soon as you can.