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Drink driving is a serious offence. If you are found guilty, you will be banned from driving and given a large fine. There are other possible consequences if you drink drive, including jail or forced work in the community. In addition, your car could be taken from you. We recognize there are other implications if you are convicted of driving under the influence (“DUI”): social stigma, dealing with the consequences of an accident or injury, running your life without a car, losing your job and an increase in future insurance premiums.
New Drink Driving Laws
New Drink Driving Laws came into effect from 5 December 2014. Motorists who are found to be driving with 22 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath – i.e. those who blow 22 or above on the Intoximeter breath testing device at a police station – will be subject to prosecution for Drink Driving.
Reduction in the Drink Driving Limit
The drink driving limit is now reduced to 22 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath.
This is a reduction from the old limit of 35 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. Where the drink driving limit is expressed as blood-alcohol levels, the limit is reduced to 50 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, down from the old limit of 80 mg of alcohol.
Do you need legal advice for a Drink Driving Charge? Call 0141 334 2265
Breath Test or Blood Sample?
Unless the breath testing machine is broken, the police will always require you to give a breath sample at a police station. If the breath-alcohol reading is low (below 31), an individual can opt for the “alternative”. The alternative is a sample of blood or urine. Once you opt to give “the alternative”, the police officer chooses whether it is to be blood or urine. The police officer has this right to chose the sample under the law as stated in Section 8 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
The press have widely reported the reduction in terms of blood alcohol levels, rather than breath- alcohol, although the vast majority of motorists who are tested will only give a breath sample. The reduction means that drivers could be breaking the law if they have drunk a small glass of wine or single pint of beer. The new limit brings Scotland into line with Germany, France, Northern Ireland and much of the rest of Europe. The limit in England and Wales remains at 80mg. Brazil, Hungary and the Czech Republic have a zero-tolerance policy: the breath-alcohol limit there is set at 0.
How Drink Driving Cases are Proved in Court
It is likely that the case against you will be short and simple. It will centre on the evidence of the two trained police officers who stopped you at the side of the road, breathalysed you, and took you to a police station to get an accurate alcohol reading from you. If you gave blood, there will be further evidence from a doctor and the evidence of forensic scientists who analysed the blood sample.
The Benefits of Legal Advice
However clear the case seems to be, it is worth getting a driving law specialist to scrutinize the evidence against you. Without the right evidence, there can be no conviction.
If you would like guidance specific to your situation, please be in touch. There is no charge for our initial legal advice and no obligation to use us further: we will clarify where you stand and how you can best move forward. If you would like information on how to appeal a driving ban, we can provide detailed advice on this.