Consequences of drink driving

January 29, 2016 - 3 minutes read

If you get pulled over and test positive for drink driving, the number of drinks you’ve had makes no difference, in the eyes of the law you’re still a convicted drunk-driver, whether you’re just over the limit or well over the limit and so the consequences are exactly the same. You will also face the same consequences if you are caught driving over the limit the next morning as you would if you had been caught the night before.

GOV.UK state that the penalty you may receive for drink driving depends on your offence and is up to the magistrates who hear your case.

If you are in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you may get:

• 3 months’ imprisonment
• a fine up to £2,500
• a possible driving ban

If you are driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you may get:

• 6 months’ imprisonment
• an unlimited fine
• a driving ban for at least 1 year, 3 years if convicted twice in 10 years

If your drink driving or careless driving causes a death, you may get:

• 14 years’ imprisonment
• an unlimited fine
• a ban from driving for at least 2 years
• an extended driving test before your licence is returned

You will be classed as a high risk offender if you:

• were convicted of 2 drink-driving offences within 10 years
• were driving with an alcohol reading of at least 87.5 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, 200 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, or 267.5 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
• refused to give the police a sample of breath, blood or urine to test for alcohol
• refused to allow a sample of your blood to be tested for alcohol (e.g. if it was taken when you were unconscious)

Your driving licence won’t be returned automatically at the end of a driving ban if you’re a ‘high risk offender’. You’ll only get your licence back if you pass a medical examination.

Other problems you could face

A conviction for drink-driving also means:

• you may struggle to get car finance
• your car insurance costs will increase significantly
• if you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence
• you may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA