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Drink Driving – 50th Anniversary

While the tabloid press enjoys playing ‘Spot Wayne Rooney Working off his Community Service’ for his Drink Driving conviction, the RAC is playing a different boozy ball game.

This month sees the 50th anniversary of the introduction of drink driving laws in this country and roadside breath testing.

England and Wales are currently holding tight to the 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood drink driving limit that has been in place since the legal maximum was introduced.

However, this is higher than other European countries and, potentially confusingly for many motorists, also higher than our Scottish neighbours.

Scotland Tightens Up

In 2014, Scotland decided to tighten up its laws and cut the limit to 50mg.

Northern Ireland wants to do the same. But the province also wants to go further and set up a two-tier system, with new and professional drivers subject to a temperance-tastic limit of 20mg.

To put this into context, this limit is so low that if you even think about a pint of foaming nut brown ale you’ll probably get yourself banned.

RAC Demands Overhaul

Knowing that times are changing and that there isn’t much justification for keeping our limit at 80mg, the RAC smells blood.

It is one of a number of organisations demanding that the limit is reviewed, claiming that motorists are overwhelmingly in favour of toughening up the law.

It recently polled 1,700 drivers and found 59% supported a reduction of the drink driving limit in both England and Wales.

Not sure that’s overwhelmingly in favour, but there’s certainly an appetite out there.

A conviction for drink driving, or attempting to drive with excess alcohol in your body, will result in a driving ban.

The minimum period is 12 months for a first offence. The court does have discretion to allow defendants to complete a drink driving rehabilitation course which has the effect of reducing the length of the ban by 25%.

Penalties will depend on the level of intoxication. The maximum financial penalty for drink driving is an unlimited fine.

And of course, punishment could include a period of imprisonment, depending on the circumstances.

However, there may also be a defence to your offence or alternatively special reasons. Both of these could allow you to avoid a ban for drink driving.

For more information or advice on a drink driving charge, call 0330 1330 081, or fill in our contact form.

Driver with alcohol