The Police can pull you over in your car if they suspect that you have been drinking. They may have pulled you over for something entirely different, like a brake light out, but they can question you about any alcohol you have consumed.
But it’s not just as simple as taking a breathalyser test and facing the consequences. There are different types of drink drive offences to take into consideration. Here is a quick breakdown of offences you could be charged with if you have been or are suspected of drinking and driving.
For reference, in England and Wales the alcohol limit for drivers is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Being in Charge of a Vehicle while Above the Legal Limit or Unfit through Drink
There is no legal definition of “in charge” so each case will depend on its own facts. It covers sitting in a vehicle with the engine running whilst over the limit, even if you weren’t planning on actually driving it away. The penalty for this could be anything from 10 penalty points, or a driving ban or even imprisonment, in addition to a fine of up to £2,500.
Driving or Attempting to Drive while Above the Legal Limit or unfit through Drink
This means that you have driven or attempted to drive a vehicle whilst over the legal limit, regardless of how successful the attempt was. If you are charged with this offence you could face a driving ban for at least one year (three years if convicted twice in 10 years), an unlimited fine, and even 6 months’ in prison.
Failing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis
If a police officer requests a breath, blood, or urine sample for analysis you are obligated by law to provide one. But they can only ask for this if they suspect that you were driving a vehicle over the limit. If you fail to provide a specimen, without reasonable excuse, then you could be charged with failing to provide a specimen. This carries a penalty of a minimum 12-month ban and could also include a prison sentence in the most serious cases.
Causing Death by Careless Driving when under the Influence of Drink
As you may realise this offence carries the highest penalties. If you cause the death of someone when you are driving a vehicle over the limit then you could face 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, a ban from driving for at least two years, and an extended driving test before your licence is returned.
Each case is different and has its own set of circumstances. If you're facing a drink-driving offence you need to get expert legal advice and representation as quickly as possible because it may save your driving licence.
Our expert team of Drink Driving Offence Solicitors can help straight away so for a free consultation call us on freephone 0808 175 7998 or contact us online and we will call you.