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Drink Driving: The Facts

12th January 2018

Drink Driving: The Facts

Over the festive period, people tend to be especially aware of drink driving. When planning parties, sensible drivers tend to avoid drinking at all, both to and from the party in question, or the next day. However, it’s not just the planned parties that you need to be aware of; those impromptu weekday drinks can sneak up on you, making you over the limit the next day when you have to go to work.

Surprisingly, Dry January (or any other dry month, for that matter) can contribute to drink driving. Why? Because after a month off the booze, your liver enzymes are down. This means that you can’t break down alcohol as effectively, meaning that you could be over the limit after fewer drinks than normal.

In this series, we look at drink driving facts, and what you can do to make sure that you keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe.


According to Government statistics, drink driving is on the fall. This is good news; between 2007 and 2015, the number of accidents caused by drink driving dropped from 9,290 to 5,730 and the number of fatalities halved. This is largely due to the tightening up of drink driving laws, high penalties for drink driving, and awareness campaigns.


The law varies throughout the UK, but wherever you are, the penalties for being in charge of a vehicle, driving a vehicle or causing an accident while drunk, are tough. If you are convicted of “being in charge of” a vehicle while above the legal limit, you could be sentenced to up to 3 months in prison, a £2,500 fine and a potential driving ban (please note, “being in charge of” is not the same as driving a vehicle – technically, sleeping in a car while drunk is illegal). If you drive, or attempt to drive, while drunk or over the legal limit, or if you refuse to provide a breath, blood or urine specimen, you could get up to 6 months in prison, an unlimited fine and a driving ban of at least 1 year, and up to 3 years. And if you are convicted of causing death by careless driving while over the limit, you could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, and a ban for 2 years or more. However, the penalties for the latter pale in significance to the knowledge that lives were shattered as a direct result of your choices.

Of course, the best way to stay safe on the roads, is not to drink at all. However, if you want to know more about drink driving limits and how you can stay safe, keep an eye out for our next blog: “How Much Can I Drink and Still Drive?”.

If you are uncertain about driving laws, or passed your test a long time ago, why not contact one of our trusted driving instructors for a refresher course? It could reduce your insurance premium and prevent you for putting yourself, and others, at risk.