FAQsJun 28 2022
Even a small amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. If you drink and then get behind the wheel of a car, you risk your life, the lives of your passengers and others on the road. Drink driving costs lives.
Drink driving – Remember!
- Don’t drink and drive. The only safe limit is none
- Beware of the morning after. You could still be over the limit
- Plan how to get home without the need to drive
- Don’t offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive
- Don’t accept a lift from a driver you know has drunk alcohol.
Do the police need a reason to stop me whilst I am driving?
No, the police do not need any reason to stop any person driving, attempting to drive or in charge of a motor vehicle on a road for a routine check. The police can then require that you provide your name, date of birth, driving licence and insurance details. Failure to comply with any of these requirements is an offence.
The police cannot stop a vehicle just to carry out a random breath test. They have to have a reasonable suspicion that the person has consumed alcohol or drugs. Once the vehicle has been stopped for, perhaps, a routine check, this can be ascertained through the smell of alcohol, slurred speech or glazed eyes. Failure to comply with a request to carry out breath test is an offence and the penalty is the same as if you had been convicted of being over the limit.
The police can, however, breathalyse a person without a reasonable suspicion that the person has consumed alcohol/drugs, if they have committed a traffic offence whilst the vehicle is in motion e.g. driving carelessly, having defective lights, failing to comply with a traffic sign or using a mobile phone.
How much alcohol can I drink and not be over the limit?
The only safe limit of alcohol to have in your blood and drive is zero! It is not advisable to even have one drink and drive as alcohol impairs your judgement and lessens your reflexes. The legal amount of alcohol permitted is 35 microgrammes per 100ml of breath reading. This cannot be translated into an exact amount of units as it depends on many factors – height and weight, time when last drink consumed etc, so the best advice is not to drink at all or order a taxi.
I know someone, who drinks and drives all the time, what should I do?
You can report the person to the police (anonymously if you wish). The information that the police require before they can act is the registration mark of the vehicle involved, the person’s name and if possible address and details of any regular journeys the person. The police can then wait for the vehicle somewhere on that route and stop it.
Don’t exceed the speed limit
The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph.
Adapt your driving to suit the road conditions
If the weather is bad, slow down. In some road conditions, even driving at the speed limit could be too fast. Fog, rain and traffic flow will all affect road conditions. Driving too fast for the conditions can result in a collision.
Never assume it’s safe to break the speed limit
There may be less traffic on rural roads, but there can also be unexpected hazards such as blind bends, vehicles coming out of junctions and animals on the road.
What happens if I am caught speeding?
If you are caught speeding, you could face a £100 fine and three points on your licence. You may be offered a Speed Awareness Course as an alternative to a fine and penalty points. If you are caught driving significantly over the speed limit, you will be summonsed to attend court where you could face a larger fine and even be disqualified from driving.