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DRINK DRIVING LIMIT

We are drink driving limit solicitors who are experts at defending all types of drink driving limit cases. Call our team of expert drink driving limit solicitors for some free initial advice.

We are drink driving limit solicitors who defend clients throughout England and Wales. If you was stopped by the police and was over the drink driving limit, please contact or dedicated specialist team of drink driving solicitors for some free advice.

The Drink Driving Limit

There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, but it’s impossible to say exactly how many drinks this equals to because each person is different.

The drink driving limits in Scotland are different to the rest of the UK.

The Drink Driving Limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is:

35 Micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath; or
80 Milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; or
107 Milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

The Drink Driving Limit in Scotland is:

22 Micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath; or
50 Milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood; or
67 Milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

Do you want to talk to the Drink Driving Solicitors who from 1st January 2015 until 20th December 2018…

Breath Drink Driving Cases WON 80%

Blood Drink Driving Cases WON 99%

Urine Drink Driving Cases WON 100%

Failing to Provide a Specimen Cases WON 89%

Drug Driving Sample Cases WON 93%

AND WON 86% of our Alcohol and Drug related cases overall!

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drink driving penalty 2017

Drink Driving Penalty

First of all, the UK drink driving limit has been the source of debate for as long is it was first introduced. Perhaps now, more than ever, the legal alcohol limit in the UK is the subject of scrutiny, due to both Ireland and Scotland making the bold move to lower the blood alcohol limit for motorists in the UK to fit in line with the majority of European countries.

So what is the UK drink driving limit?

Definition of a Drink Driving Offence in the UK: It is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road, or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in a person’s breath exceeds the prescribed limit under. S 5. Road Traffic Act 1988.

Consequently, if you are facing a charge of driving with excess alcohol. The Prosecution will have to prove that you were driving with excess alcohol in your breath, urine or blood. Therefore, the present drink driving limits in the UK are as follows:

  • 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of breath
  • 80mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood
  • 107mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine

When a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person is driving with excess alcohol. For that reason, he can require that person to perform a roadside breath test. Most importantly, if this provides a positive reading the police will arrest the driver and take them to a police station for a further “evidential test”.

Ordinarily if the drink driving evidential sample is a breath test

Furthermore, the police constable must follow stringent procedures. Therefore, they must obtain two specimens of analysed breath tests and which exceed 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. Also, if you blow 39 or less, it is likely that the police will exercise their discretion and release you without charge.

However, if both readings exceed 40 micrograms of alcohol, it is likely that the police will simply proceed to charge the driver with being over the drink driving limit. As a result, the driver must attend Court at a later date once bailed.

In April 2015 the procedure for offering a secondary blood or urine test to replace a borderline breath reading was abolished. That said, if the procedures the police must follow continue to be intricate and this is where our expertise could make the difference in saving your licence.

If you are facing a charge for being over the drink driving limit but were taken to hospital and this is where you gave your sample. Most importantly, please take a look at our drink driving hospital cases page and contact our expert drink driving solicitors today.

When was the UK drink driving limit introduced?

In 1965, due to the number of drink driving road accidents, the government introduced a drink driving limit in Britain. Furthermore, in 1966 a new Road Safety Bill stated the blood alcohol limit was set to 80mg of alcohol in 100cc of blood. This was in the hope that people take more care on the roads and protect themselves as well as other drivers and pedestrians. In 1967 the Transport Minister Barbara Castles introduced the breathalyser to test a drivers’ blood alcohol level.

The first breathalysers were also introduced that year meaning that the process of detecting motorists became much more streamlined than before. However, although it dramatically reduced the number of accidents caused by drink driving, the government still led campaigns to promote the ‘Don’t drink and drive’ message.

This campaign continues today. 2015 has seen the biggest shake up in drink driving limit law since the introduction of breath testing devices. Furthermore, in April 2015 saw the removal of the statutory option of a motorist’s breath sample with an optional blood or urine sample if the breath sample was borderline over the limit at 50 g or below in breath.

However, despite this removal of a safeguard for the accused, the pressure to review and reduce the drink driving limit is mounting more than ever before.

Why lower the drink driving limit?

It may seem an obvious question but when we analyse the countries that have already taken this step, it seems that investing more heavily in education would make more sense. Rather than spending millions on a further law change that would undoubtedly criminalise otherwise law abiding motorists.

Ireland were the first to make the move to lower the drink driving limit back on 8th October 2012. They reduced the level of alcohol permitted from 0.8 (80 mgs/100mls) to 0.5 (50mg/100mls).  They also introduced a further lower limit of 0.2 (20 mgs/ 100mls) “specified” drivers listed below:

Lower Limit of 0.2 (20 mgs/ 100mls) for “Specified” Drivers
A holder of a learner permit
Holder of a first driver licence (for category of vehicle being driven) within 2 years of issue
Holder of a C, C1, D, D1, EB, EC, EC1, ED, ED1 or W category
Holder of a SPSV licence whilst driving in the course of business
Person not holding a driving licence for the category of vehicle being driven
Furthermore if no licence is produced at scene, the person is tested at the lower limit

Reports suggest that despite the limit being lowered, the attitude of Irish motorists towards the drink driving limit has been mixed. With a campaign to allow motorists to drink drive in rural areas being taken to the highest level!

Scotland introduced the lower drink driving limit of 50mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood at the end of 2014. This was in an effort to reduce the number of alcohol related accidents and fatalities. However, there have been numerous reports since then that the reduction in the drink driving limit has not had the intended effect and offending rates are no different from before the limit was reduced.

Is it time for Brits to shut up and drive (without the drink?!)

Regardless of the arguments for and against lowering the UK drink driving limit. There is no getting away from the fact that along with Malta, we have the highest blood alcohol limit in Europe. Most importantly, as shown in this table below with alcohol limits shown in grams per litre.

It is also notable that many other countries have lower drink driving limit levels for commercial and novice drivers.

CountryStandardCommercial driversNovice drivers
Austria0.50.10.1
Belgium0.50.20.5
Bulgaria0.50.50.5
Croatia0.50.00.0
Cyprus0.20.20.2
Czech Republic0.00.00.0
Denmark0.50.50.5
Estonia0.20.20.2
Finland0.50.50.5
France0.50.5 (0.2 bus drivers)0.2 (from Jul 2015)
Germany0.50.00.0
Greece0.50.20.2
Hungary0.00.00.0
Ireland0.50.20.2
Italy0.50.00.0
Latvia0.50.50.2
Lithuania0.40.00.0 (from Jan 2015)
Luxembourg0.50.20.2
Malta0.80.80.8
Netherlands0.50.50.2
Poland0.20.20.2
Portugal0.50.20.2
Romania0.00.00.0
Slovakia0.00.00.0
Slovenia0.50.00.0
Spain0.50.30.3
Sweden0.20.20.2
UK [i]0.80.80.8
Switzerland0.50.00.0

[i] Scotland 0,5 as of December 2014 for all groups. The rest of the UK (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) remain unchanged.

Last updated: July 2015 from The European Transport Safety Council.

OUR DRINK DRIVING TESTIMONIALS

I had already been sentenced and appealed my case and lost the appeal being represented by a different much cheaper law firm so I thought all was lost, I was banned from driving for 29 months, received 150 hours of unpaid work and a hefty fine. I called Geoffrey Millers... Read More

I had already been sentenced and appealed my case and lost the appeal being represented by a different much cheaper law firm so I thought all was lost, I was banned from driving for 29 months, received 150 hours of unpaid work and a hefty fine. I called Geoffrey Millers after my appeal had been lost and spoke to Jeanette and asked if there was anything that could be done. I was advised going to crown court to appeal was an option but would mean a whole new case. It was very daunting and stressful but the staff reassured me at every stage and were very supportive. They got my ban suspended pending trial so I was able to drive again in the months up to the case going to Crown. The investigation and work put into my case was second to none and I never felt that all my questions and stressed out calls to them were too much bother. I attended crown court and was hoping for a reduced ban but the outcome was amazing, I won my special reasons appeal meaning I could keep my licence and the community order was scrapped. I cannot thank them enough for taking on my case even after I had previously lost an appeal and had used a different solicitors, my only regret was that I did not go to them first. Worth every penny and more. Thank you so much to Jeanette, Diana and all the team.

Anonymous 55
Drink Driving
Ban appealed due to special reasons and was won
Manchester

This was an alleged second Drink Driving conviction within 10 years. I was going through a divorce and my world was completely upside down. I had no car, no home and limited access to my family. It was the worst time of my life. Ellie looked after me the whole... Read More

This was an alleged second Drink Driving conviction within 10 years. I was going through a divorce and my world was completely upside down. I had no car, no home and limited access to my family. It was the worst time of my life. Ellie looked after me the whole time and really was a human towards me and gave me the confidence to keep going leading me to plead Not Guilty. The result was exactly as Ellie anticipated which was great news! My life is now back on track after a gruelling 10 months, I cannot thank Ellie, the team at GMS and my Barrister who was just on another level!

Please call GMS because they are fantastic!

Anonymous 54
Drink Driving
Acquitted
Hertfordshire

My feedback cannot express how gratifying I am with Geoffrey Miller Solicitors as regards the handling of my drink driving case from start to finish. I have always held some level of reservation about legal advise particularly with road traffic cases, however GM solicitors have evidently change my skepticism. The... Read More

My feedback cannot express how gratifying I am with Geoffrey Miller Solicitors as regards the handling of my drink driving case from start to finish.

I have always held some level of reservation about legal advise particularly with road traffic cases, however GM solicitors have evidently change my skepticism.

The level of professionalism, optimism, efficiency and value for money from the moment I presented my case to Jeanette S. Miller up to the point John Ruane called to inform my case have been discontinued by the CPS was (5 star) excellent.

Jeanette kept reassuring me there was a strong possibility of success even when I felt all hopes were lost. My biggest thank you goes out to John for the high level of transparency and real-time progress update on my case.

Your firm is top notch and I will always relish the good result delivered for the rest of my life. Yes people might say it is an expensive service, however it was worth the result at the end plus the level of payment flexibility makes it affordable for all.

Please keep up the good work and maintain the level of excellent.

Mr Philip O
Drink Driving
Discontinued Before Trial
London

Unbelievable!!! I have to confess that I was extremely sceptical about achieving a successful outcome, but was reassured all through the process by some excellent staff at Geoffrey Miller that there was hope where I could see none. Today all charges were dropped by the CPS and I can’t thank... Read More

Unbelievable!!! I have to confess that I was extremely sceptical about achieving a successful outcome, but was reassured all through the process by some excellent staff at Geoffrey Miller that there was hope where I could see none. Today all charges were dropped by the CPS and I can’t thank John Ruane and my Barrister enough for their outstanding efforts, life can finally get back to some normality after months of stress and I only have Geoffrey Miller to thank for this.

MW
Drink Driving
CPS offered no evidence
Northamptonshire

Oh my god Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are amazing totally professional reassuring and confident from the very start of proceedings thank you so much regards J CARRARA

Justin Carrara
Drink Driving
Acquitted
Norfolk

You are probably reading this because you are terrified, but you have come to the right place… When I was arrested almost 10 months ago my world fell apart, I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t sleep and I was in panic mode. I called a friend at work... Read More

You are probably reading this because you are terrified, but you have come to the right place… When I was arrested almost 10 months ago my world fell apart, I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t sleep and I was in panic mode. I called a friend at work who recommended Geoffrey Miller. After a lot of research and reading all the testimonials (twice) I finally plucked up courage and made the call. Jeannette Miller was the first person I spoke to, her warm and understanding nature without any judgement was something I was not expecting and immediately knew I made the right decision. Ellie Taylor (who is just amazing!!) was assigned my case worker, the expense needed for fees were a worry but the team worked with me throughout so I was never overwhelmed by costs (it is worth it believe me). After months of back and forth and trial dates being moved or adjourned, the CPS doing their best to derail everything, we finally went to trial. My barrister is someone I will never forget, he was just incredible and knew exactly what his plan was, I was so scared of losing my license as it would ruin my job, house and future work prospects… I shouldn’t have worried all those months, I was acquitted. I am truly grateful for the incredible work this team does. Please give them a call as soon as you can, that call could very well change your life.

Stuart M
Drink Driving
Acquitted
London

I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the help Geoffrey Miller have given me. I got caught 7 years ago and then caught again 7 years later, which could have resulted in a 3 year ban (possibly more) and a fine and possibly community service. I run... Read More

I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the help Geoffrey Miller have given me. I got caught 7 years ago and then caught again 7 years later, which could have resulted in a 3 year ban (possibly more) and a fine and possibly community service. I run my own business and this had the potential to ruin my business and everything I have. I did a search for specialist solicitors and Geoffrey Millar came up first. I was obvs in a state of distress, but I spoke to Jeanette and she instantly put me at ease by talking through the event of arrest and assuring me that they had confidence to help. Naturally you feel sceptical I think that’s natural, however after the first call they kept in contact and it helped in making the decision to use Geoffrey Miller. I’ll be honest the fees can make you feel its a big risk, but then the success rate is high, so I took the plunge. John Ruane was my case manager and he always kept me informed and told me not to worry. It did take nearly a year to get to a decision (no fault of Geoffrey Miller, that’s just how it worked out) but I kept my licence during this time, which meant I could continue with my life, and I was looked after by some great people on preliminary court hearings and they too, were great! Today I have just been acquitted and case dismissed. Worth every penny, and now they are helping to get some court fees back, which is great! If you Need help, and you feel lost/stressed give these guys a call! and check out the success rate, it worked for me.

Consider what it means to keep a licence and not pay high premiums on insurance after your ban is over, and you will see its worth the cash!

Thank you John, and All the team.

Jim
Drink Driving
Acquitted
West Sussex

The best team in the UK. Saskia saved me from losing everything. I can’t thank Geoffrey Miller more!

Manveer S Virk
Drink Driving
Case Dropped
Uxbridge

My case was handled by Saskia Abbot. I called several times, often requesting reassurance following emails which I had received. Saskia always called me back as quickly as she could. She was extremely helpful and very informative throughout. Her emails also provided detailed information about my case. She raised several... Read More

My case was handled by Saskia Abbot. I called several times, often requesting reassurance following emails which I had received. Saskia always called me back as quickly as she could. She was extremely helpful and very informative throughout. Her emails also provided detailed information about my case. She raised several issues which could potentially secure my acquittal, which made me more confident that I was right to go with a ‘not guilty’ plea.

Anonymous 50
Drink Driving
Case Discontinued
London

This case started 14 months ago when I received a call from a police station at 2.30 am telling me that my son had been charged with drink driving. He blew 54 by the road and 49 at the police station. I phoned Geoffrey Miller and spoke to Ellie Taylor.... Read More

This case started 14 months ago when I received a call from a police station at 2.30 am telling me that my son had been charged with drink driving. He blew 54 by the road and 49 at the police station. I phoned Geoffrey Miller and spoke to Ellie Taylor. She was extremely professional and well informed and told me that we could do what I thought was impossible and plead not guilty and have a good chance of a successful outcome. We decided to go down this route although the case appeared utterly unremarkable. There were no obvious problems with the prosecution case and we were just hoping that the prosecution would fail to serve their evidence. This unfortunately did not happen and they were very proactive and provided us with everything but a proper copy of the cctv. We only received this on the morning of the first hearing date. Our barrister, the magnificent Phillip Lucas, reviewed the cctv at court and immediately spotted two potential case winning points. The case eventually came back about 10 months later. At the trial our barrister performed a cross examination of the police witnesses worthy of a court room tv drama. After this the judge asked if Mr Lucas would mind if the witnesses were taken out of order as he wanted our expert to give evidence “with a view to dramatically shortening the length trial”. This is what happened and an acquittal shortly followed! A fantastic result. This case has shown me that you can never know if you have got a good case until all the evidence has been reviewed by the experts at Geoffrey Miller. Whilst it was both a stressful and expensive experience it was extremely worthwhile and worth every penny. Thank you to John Ruane, Victoria Brennan and Saskia Abbott.

Anonymous 49
Drink Driving
Acquitted
West Midlands
Load More Testimonials
VIEW ALL OUR DRINK DRIVING TESTIMONIALS

†Figures include successful appeals and exclude cases lost that are the subject of appeal as at 20th December 2018.

Not Sure What to Do About Your Drink Driving Offence?

Most people who get in touch with our team of drink driving solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend being over the drink driving limit they face, by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! Most importantly, we do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next about your drink driving limit charge.

We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 1389 123 to speak to one of our drink driving limit offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange instalment plans to assist you. Most importantly, many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service. Because it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.

Browse our site and get in touch

If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our drink driving ban calculator. This will help you to determine the drink driving penalty you may face if convicted.

We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it. Our unique “ask our clients” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.

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