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Caught Drink Driving

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 31 Jul 2022 | comments*Discuss
Drink Driving Blood Alcohol Level Breath

The police can stop you if they suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Also, if the police suspect you are about to drive a vehicle (for instance you have your keys in your hands and are just leaving a pub) you can also be stopped and asked to take a drink-driving test. You may also be asked to take a breath test if you are involved in a road traffic accident.

There are three general drink-driving offences:

  • Being in charge of a vehicle when you are over the legal alcohol limit.
  • Driving a vehicle whilst over the legal alcohol limit.
  • When stopped by the police failing to give a breath test.

At the Roadside

The first test that you will take after the police have stopped you will be a breath test. You are breaking the law if you refuse to take a breath test, but if you do refuse you will be arrested and taken to a police station where a sample of your blood or urine will be taken for testing. Note that only a doctor can take a sample of your blood, and only with your consent.

At the Police Station

When you arrive at the police station two samples will be taken. The lowest reading will be used as evidence in your case. You should be given a printout of the alcohol level that has been detected for your own records. Usually the samples are just breath samples, but the police can request that you give a blood or urine sample. This may happen if you are unable to give a breath sample, as you are too drunk. Also, the police may not have a breath device or a qualified officer to operate it available. A doctor may also have informed the police that your condition may be because of drugs and not alcohol.

What Happens if I am Charged?

If your alcohol tests are positive you will be told your rights and cautioned about anything you say can be used in evidence against you. The details of your offence will be recorded on your charge sheet that you will have to sign. You will be given a copy for your records. You will then be free to go and expected to appear at the court at the stated date and time on your charge sheet.

The Penalties

If you are found guilty of drink-driving the penalties are:
  • A ban from driving for at least 1 year.
  • A fine of up to £5,000.
  • Between 3 and 11 points to be put on your licence.
  • A prison sentence of up to 6 months.

What are the Legal Alcohol Levels?

You can be found guilty of drink driving if you have the following levels of alcohol in your blood:
  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol in a100 millilitres of your breath.
  • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your blood.
  • 107 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your urine.

Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court.

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I blow 46 at the station they didn't offer me a blood or urine sample iv been driving for 20 years clean licence im a hgv driver whats my chances please?
Tarrum - 31-Jul-22 @ 11:13 AM
Hi, I have clean licence and I have been driving for more than 8 years. I blew 49 at roadside and they take to station and after 3 hours they took my blood sample. And release me. What will happen next? I am worried about my blood test. As I am a lone driver in my family I need my license for my job too.
Kumar - 27-Apr-22 @ 12:18 AM
I blew 44 road side from my crash and my bloods came back 96mg. My court case is on Tuesday. I’ll loose my job if I loose my license. Will they take that into consideration? Had no previous conviction or anything. Will I have to do my test again? I didn’t hurt anyone a car speeded past me and made me swerve and hit a Kirb and my car flipped. I wasn’t speeding or anything. I was just going home the morning after I’d had a few drinks
Jt - 10-Apr-22 @ 11:45 PM
I blew 66 at 4.40 am then blood taken at 8 am what's chances of it going down in that time
MISS K WEBSTER - 20-Sep-21 @ 5:47 PM
Simply don't drink then drive you idiots
Baffled - 5-Sep-21 @ 6:43 AM
Blew 103 2 nights ago was taken back to the station and tested again twice, this was about an hour after the road side test. First test in station I blew 44 second was 38 so I was lucky enough to keep my license and wasn’t charged. Officer was extremely annoyed and couldn’t believe the result. Is this common or was I very lucky?
Jb - 28-Jun-21 @ 4:31 PM
Stopped in aug 20 blew 42 at roadside 44 at stationcharged with 3yrs due to second offence in 10 years. No blood or urine offered apperently that law hasn’t exisited since 2016 is this correct?
Jay - 21-Jun-21 @ 11:14 PM
I was stopped and blew 47 at the police station .lowest of 2 results .I was held for 21 hours .never offered either blood or urine test but charged and given a court date .any advice as to legality of this please Ime type 2 diabetic also .had 3 blood sugar tests in custody every 3 hours .22.5 -19-14.5 respectively.any bearing on breath test results? Thanks
Dno - 19-Jun-21 @ 5:24 PM
I have a clean license and blew 49 at the station and was not offered an alternative test. I am worried about the outcome at court as I am reliant on my car for many things. Do you know what is likely to happen?
Shaun - 14-Jun-21 @ 9:22 PM
Last night I blew 70 at the roadside at 10pm then later at 11pm the machine registered ‘alcohol in the mouth’ so I had to do a blood test then at 1;00am I blew 39. What’s the chance that my blood test was under
Beechy - 14-Jun-21 @ 9:07 AM
Last night I blew 71. And I have to attend to court next month. So what are the chances that going to happen next.
Kiran - 14-May-21 @ 2:55 PM
Hey I’m 24 years old, had no previous convictions but blew 60 on the breathalyser. I have been driving 2 years and 2 months. Do you know what conviction I will be given? Thanks
Chelsea - 9-May-21 @ 11:51 PM
I refused to take the breathalyzer at the police station..i was banned for three years..will this affect my medical will i be drug tested or just the normal blood test
Dd - 31-Mar-21 @ 9:37 PM
I blew 39.4 at station no urine sample and I have a court date is this right please ??
Bal - 12-Nov-20 @ 8:12 AM
I was breath tested at 12.30 at 71. Bloods taken at 5.30 what are the chancea it would have gone under the limit?
Jayk - 5-Nov-20 @ 2:35 PM
Hi I was suspected drink driving from a call I made at 12:30... I blew 113 around 6pm. Found no where near the vehicle, no keys on me or nothing am I likely to get charged or can they not place me in drink driving at the time.
GG - 30-Oct-20 @ 7:26 PM
I’ve been banned for 19 months but can reduce by 25%. Is my ban now 13 months?
Macco - 9-Oct-20 @ 8:10 PM
Hi, I’m 19 years old and I blew 49 in the police station, I don’t have any points or criminal record. I’ve had my licence 22 months. Do you know what sort of conviction I will be given?
Gee - 26-Sep-20 @ 3:07 PM
hi there I was in a collision into a barrier where I got lodged into and I'd had a few too many in galway and the guarda were called i didnt give them a breath test...and sayed at a cell over night ...i have a court appearance to go to and i don't know what will happen ? Can anyone help me?
R - 6-Sep-20 @ 3:13 PM
i pulled over in matalan car park and got out of car, police then pulled up next to me, i was breathalysed and blew 67. I had a few drinks but am surprised by the reading, can i ask for proof of calibration for the machine?I'm not going to argue about the charge but the high reading is concerning me.
mat - 26-Aug-20 @ 11:12 AM
I was sleeping in my car other night after a fight withy dad couldn't get home but police came to key was not in car I refuse to give them and was locked up came out of police with two black eyes and broken hand first time will I lose my licence
Na - 25-Aug-20 @ 8:00 AM
I had a blood test result of 85mg but am struggling to find out how to convert this to breath for a form thst I need to fill out
nicky - 21-Aug-20 @ 5:54 PM
Blew 50 at road side Was arrested and charged I’m in court in October They didn’t do any other test at station They also refused to take me to hospital with a bad foot Turned out I’d broke two bones when I went myself the next day
Haley - 20-Aug-20 @ 8:19 AM
Hi I got caught drink driving last night 2nd time in 3 years. I blew 71 on breath test what am I likely to get!!!!
ed - 10-Aug-20 @ 10:47 PM
I got stopped for drink driving over 6 months ago now and the court case keeps being adjourned. I was informed that the police have 6 months from date of offence to ban me. It’s been over 6 months now so will I still get banned?
A - 28-Jul-20 @ 1:28 PM
Hi was was recentlystopped for drink driving, I wasnt cautioned at the police station and not offered a solicitor, nor was I given a copy of my breath test. Can this affect my court case. Many thanks Steph
steph - 19-Jul-20 @ 4:30 PM
Got pulled this morning and had to do a breath test. Blew at 50 have a court hearing next month. This is my first time. What will I be expected with? Thanks
Sian - 7-Jul-20 @ 12:30 PM
I blew 49 in the station have to go to court any ideas what I'm facing thanks
Aaron - 6-Jul-20 @ 7:40 AM
I just blew 48 at the roadside. Tooke to the stationbut the machine wouldn't work so had to give a blood test. What does 48breath test equate to in blood test. Also it was approx 2 hours after first test. Am I likely to be under the 80 blood test limit? Thank you
E-j - 28-Jun-20 @ 10:56 PM
How do I find out what level my breath test results were after I lost my licence? I am about to get it back after my Nan but need to know what my level was to see if I need a medical or not to get it back??!!
Sam - 28-Jun-20 @ 11:59 AM
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