Drink-Driving Clampdown and Licensing Hour Changes in Jersey

New proposals put forward in Jersey’s Alcohol and Licensing Strategy suggest a need for increased drink-driving restrictions as well as the introduction of staggered licensing hours. The authorities are deeply concerned about the alcohol consumption of Jersey’s citizens and feel that limitations urgently need to be introduced.

200 people per year are being charged with being intoxicated whilst driving a vehicle, one alarming statistic states.
The report also included evidence that the UK Island experienced a higher level of alcohol-related hospital cases compared to their neighbours on the UK mainland. Jersey’s authorities are also set to look in to alcohol abuse by underage drinkers.

Concern for Public Safety

The policy in question published by the Council of Ministers, said the inhabitants (circa 99,000) drank approximately the equivalent of 130 bottles of wine per person per year. The report also stated that in 2010 there was a rate of 2,065 per 100,000 admissions to Jersey General Hospital which were linked to alcohol, including drink-driving – at a predicted cost to the hospital of £2m per year. This was above the average rate of 1,898 per 100,000 in England, it said.

Lenient Drink-Driving Limits

In Jersey as in the UK, the maximum authorised level of alcohol in the blood when driving is 80mgs per 100mls of blood. In most other European countries, the limit is less, usually 50mg per 100ml of blood.

Martin Hammond, Hammond Trotter’s senior partner, said:

“The difference of 30mgs could be the difference between being in control, and stepping over the line of intoxication. A reduction to 50mg per 100ml of blood makes absolute sense. However, the often suggested, zero tolerance policies are fraught with danger. Most notable are the fact that there are lots of sources of small amounts of alcohol in our day to day lives and lots of substances that mimic the properties of alcohol on a testing device.

Jersey is a rural area and in our experience, drivers taking the drink-drive risk on empty roads is much higher than for drivers that live in busy cities or towns. If you live in rural country areas, never deem empty roads as safe after that extra drink, that one journey could cost you dearly.”

The expected date for the implementation of the law changes is between 2015 and 2016; however this is dependent on the findings of a detailed review looking at the proposed strategy.
At Hammond Trotter, we know that a conviction for drink driving can have a devastating effect upon your life, your work and your family.

If you are under threat of prosecution for drink driving, you need an experienced specialist to fight your corner. Our sole area of expertise is driver defence and we have dealt with every scenario imaginable in this area.

Keeping abreast of all the latest driving law changes such as in the legislation change in Jersey keeps us a step ahead of the rest. You’re in safe hands with us, and we will do our utmost to ensure that your case is dealt with efficiently and skilfully in expert hands.

Call us our Manchester offices on 0161 839 5117 or the London office on 0207 903 5144 and put your mind at ease.