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What is the drink driving limit?

The law in the United Kingdom states that the drink driving limit is as follows:

  • 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 millilitres of urine

Should a breath reading be 39 micrograms or less, current Home Office Guidelines state that no action should be taken. Sentencing inevitably depends upon the circumstances of your case and the level of alcohol that is discovered. The amount of time you would be disqualified for would usually start at 12 months for a reading of 40 mcg breath, 80 mg of blood or 107 mg of urine. If you fail to supply a specimen of any kind the minimum disqualification period is 12 months. A custodial sentence is usual when readings are above 120 mcg breath, 276 mg of blood or 367 mg of urine. If you have been found guilty of a drink driving offence previously, within 10 years, you will be disqualified for a minimum of 36 months and have an increased risk of a prison sentence. The court will consider mitigating circumstances and facts which could lead to a reduction in the severity of the punishment imposed. These mitigating factors can include:

  • Full and immediate co operation with the Police
  • An early guilty plea
  • A clean driving record
  • A clean criminal record

In the UK a drink drive conviction will remain valid on your driving licence for ten years and can be removed in full, eleven years after the sentence hearing.

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