Drink Driving: What you need to know
The police have the right to stop you if they suspect you of driving under the influence of alcohol. They can also stop you should they suspect that you plan to drive under the influence too.
Drink driving first became illegal in the UK in 1967 and the evidential breath test was put into practice in 1983.
You may remember Wayne Rooney being convicted of drink driving in 2017 which resulted in a 2 year driving ban and 100 hours of unpaid work. More recently in 2018, Ant McPartlin was given a 20-month driving ban and a £86,000 fine after blowing double the legal limit.
Drink Driving is a Criminal Offence
Under Section 5(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, driving whilst exceeding the legal limit can result in a criminal record, driving disqualification, an unlimited fine and in serious cases, a prison sentence.
Drink driving carries a minimum mandatory driving disqualification of a least 12 months and you must appear in court in person. If you do not attend the court for your hearing, a warrant for your arrest may be issued, as well as further charges.
If you plead guilty to the charges, you will be told to sit down, and the prosecution will begin. The prosecuting drink driving solicitor will put forward the case against you including all statements and evidence collected by the police.
Once the prosecution has finished, it will be the turn of the defence. This is when you explain what happened, why it happened, and any other relevant information such as all mitigating circumstances.
Once both sides have put forward their case, the court clerk will ask the magistrates if they are aware of any previous convictions. The magistrates will then discuss the matter. You may be sentenced immediately, or they may decide to postpone the case for a pre-sentence report.
Do I have to declare a drink driving conviction on a job application?
Declaring a drink driving conviction all depends on the type of job you are applying for. If the job requires you to drive, you will need to declare your conviction.
Withholding any information regarding known convictions can amount to a criminal offence. An employer who discovers an employee, or future employee, carries a criminal conviction has the discretion to instigate disciplinary proceedings or withdraw an offer of employment, if the conviction is not ‘spent’ by virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
If you are applying for a job role that involves vulnerable adults, children or a government-based role, a DBS check is needed. However, it is important to note that this cannot be completed without your consent.
How many units of alcohol can you have and drive?
The legal limit is defined by the amount of alcohol in your system. The current legal limit is:
- 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
- 35 micro-grams per 100 millilitres of breath.
- 107 milligrams per 100 millimetres of urine.
There are some factors you must take into consideration, such as weight, age, sex, how you metabolise alcohol, the amount of food you have eaten, and even your stress levels prior to drinking. The type of alcohol you have been drinking is also a factor.
What to do if you are caught drink driving
You have the right to free legal advice (legal aid) if you are questioned at a police station. You can ask for the police station’s duty solicitor – they are available 24 hours per day and are independent of the police.
National Legal Service Solicitors have worked on many cases requiring expert drink driving solicitors. With years of experience and a team which spans the country, you can rely on both our national legal expertise and our regional presence. Call us today on 020 3601 5051 for free legal advice.