Drink Driving – The Law

Drink Driving – The Law

It is an offence to drive a vehicle on a road whilst over the legal alcohol limit. The legal alcohol limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath; or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; or 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

Special Reasons

A person charged with Drink Driving can raise a special reason to try and persuade the Court that they should not impose a disqualification and / or penalty for the offence. A special reason is something which does not amount to a Defence in law but is a matter which the Court ought to take into consideration when imposing a sentence. Common examples of a special reason include driving after having a drink spiked or in response to an emergency.


The level of alcohol in your system will reflect the likely sentence you will receive. The lower the level of alcohol, the more likely you are to receive a financial penalty to a low level community order and the higher the level of alcohol, the more likely you are to receive a high level community order to a custodial sentence (of up to 6 months). The Court will also take into consideration any mitigating or aggravating factors.


The Court must endorse your driving licence and disqualify for a minimum term of 12 months. This minimum term is automatically increased if you have like previous convictions and disqualifications. The level of alcohol in your system will also have an effect on the disqualification period.

For your first drink driving offences, the Court may offer you the chance to take part in a ‘Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme’. This is a driving course which if completed to a satisfactory level will reduce the period of your disqualification by up to 25%.

Breath Blood Urine Starting Point Range Disqualification Disqual. 2nd offence in 10 years
120-150 and above 276-345 and above 367-459 and above 12 weeks’ custody High level Community Order – 26 weeks’ custody 29 – 36 months (Extended if immediate custody is imposed) 36 – 60 months
90 – 119 207 – 275 275 – 366 Medium level Community Order Low level Community Order – High level Community Order  

23 – 28 months

36 – 52 months
60 – 89 138 – 206 184 – 274 Band C Fine Band C Fine – Low level Community Order 17 – 22 months 36 – 46 months
36 – 59 81 – 137 108 – 183 Band C Fine Band B Fine – Band C Fine 12 – 16 months 36 – 40 months

How can we help?

If you have been charged with the above offence or if you have any questions about this in general then please contact us on 01268 820111. Our highly experienced team are available to provide you with the best legal advice.

Comment from a recent client represented in drink driving case:

“I just wanted to say  Thank You so much for representing me yesterday and getting the best possible outcome from a very bad situation, it was very much appreciated.”

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