First of all, the safest way to avoid getting caught drink driving is not drinking at all. There are different factors that determine our individual vulnerability to alcohol and the way that it affects us. England, Wales and Northern Ireland share the same legal limitations when it comes to drink driving, Scotland on the other hand have recently followed the steps of many European countries and reduced their limit. Read on to find out more about the drink driving regulations and how to follow them correctly:

 

What is the legal limit?  

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in Scotland

50 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body

Is there anything that you can do to stay within the legal limit? 

As said before, the best approach would be to simply not drink if you know that you will be driving, especially because there is no safe way to calculate how much alcohol exactly you can drink to stay within the legal limit. However, if you do decide to drink, you must understand that everyone has different alcohol tolerance level and its affects on people will vary depending on these factors:

  • whether you’re male or female
  • your age
  • your weight
  • whether you’ve eaten recently
  • the type of alcohol you’re drinking
  • your stress levels

How will alcohol affect your driving? 

Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely. Some of these effects can be:

  • reduced co-ordination
  • slowed down reaction
  • worsened vision
  • incorrect speed and distance judgement
  • drowsiness
  • over-confidence leading to dangerous decisions on the road

How long will you feel the effect for?

Alcohol can take quite a long time to leave your body. Again everyone has a different body system that varies in its ability to break up and get rid of alcohol. Obviously the amount of alcohol that has been consumed plays a very big role in how long it will take for it to leave your body completely.

For example if you drink at lunchtime, you may be unfit to drive in the evening, at the same time if you drink in the evening, you may be unfit to drive the following morning. You have probably heard of a lot of different ‘hacks’ to help you sober up quickly, however most of these often work as simple stimulants to help you lessen your drowsiness, rather than actually help to remove the alcohol out of your blood. So it doesn’t matter how many cups of coffee you drink or how many cold showers you take, give yourself plenty of time to properly sober up.

Check out NHS guide to how long alcohol stays in your blood.

What will happen if you are caught drink driving? 

Based on the information provided by govt.uk , here is a list of penalties that you may receive based on different types of drink driving offences:

You may get:

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

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)

Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis

You may get:

  • 6 months’ imprisonment
  • an unlimited fine
  • a ban from driving for at least 1 year

Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink

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

 

Be sensible – do not drink and drive over the legal limit!