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Motoring and Alcohol – The Drink Drive Alcohol Limit

With the festive season approaching many of us will be attending a party or two. However, if you’re planning to take your car or even drive it the following day; monitoring your alcohol consumption is essential. Drinking alcohol before driving any vehicle increases the chances of having an accident, it will also land you in serious trouble if over the limit and stopped by the police. We look at answering a few frequently asked questions on the subject.

What’s at risk if you break the law drink driving?

Do not drink and driveFirstly, if you’re selfish enough to drink drive you could end up seriously injuring yourself, someone else or even a property if you have an accident. If you managed to get off with a lighter sentence your conviction could still have other consequences. For example, if you work in the motor trade or are employed in a role where a driving licence is required, a ban could mean losing your job. Even if your conviction doesn’t directly affect your job, you’ll probably find it more difficult to get a car insurance policy in future. While some insurance providers offer special policies for drivers with drink driving convictions you usually need to pay very high premiums. Therefore, getting back behind the wheel once you’re legally allowed to drive again may well be unaffordable, possibly forcing you to postpone a trip to your nearest motor dealer selling new and used cars.

How much can you legally drink before driving a vehicle?

The government’s alcohol limit is based on the amount of alcohol that can be found in your breath, blood or urine. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you can have up to 35 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol in every 100 millilitres (ml) of your breath.
Unfortunately, this information isn’t particularly helpful when put in to practice. As the number of alcoholic drinks someone can consume before reaching the legal limit will vary depending on factors like, your age, weight and metabolism. Everyone’s body can react to alcohol differently at different times, as the amount of food you’ve eaten or being under stress can also have an influence.

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What Penalties Could You Face?

If you’re convicted for driving while over the limit, you’ll end up in court facing an unlimited fine, a lengthy driving ban, or six-month prison sentence. If you’re found to be responsible for someone else’s death while drink driving, you could be imprisoned for up to fourteen years in Jail.
Other countries have different rules, Scotland’s limits are much lower than those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, so if you’re heading there for Hogmanay you will need to bear this in mind. The best advice and only way to ensure you aren’t over the legal driving limit is not to drink and drive at all.

So, either stick to the soft drinks and alcohol-free beverages, or leave the car at home and enjoy the party!


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