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Driving with alcohol or being in charge of a vehicle


Road Traffic Act 1988, section 5  

If a person …drives or attempts to drive, or…is in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit he is guilty of an offence.

[For being ‘drunk in charge’]…it is a defence for a person… to prove that at the time he is alleged to have committed the offence the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of his driving the vehicle whilst [over the limit].

Sentencing

Drink Driving can attract a fine of up to £5,000, a community order, or up to 6 months in prison. In addition there is a disqualification for at least 12 months. The length of the disqualification is dependant on the amount of alcohol found to be in the driver’s breath, blood or urine. For a second offence within ten years, the minimum disqualification is 3 years.

 

It is, however, possible in some circumstances to avoid disqualification if there are special reasons that can be drawn to the Magistrates’ attention.

Drunk in charge will attract a fine of up to £2,500, a community order, or up to 3 months in prison. In addition, the Magistrates will disqualify or impose 10 penalty points on your licence.

The higher the alcohol reading, the more likely disqualification becomes.

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