Driving, or attempting to drive, a vehicle while you are unfit through drinking alcohol or taking drugs, or at a time when the amount of alcohol in your body exceeds the prescribed limit, will normally result in an automatic ban for at least twelve months. 

This rises to three years if you have been convicted of such an offence within the previous ten years.  In addition, the court can impose a sentence of up to 6 months’ imprisonment.

It is also an offence to be ‘in charge’ of a motor vehicle in such circumstances.  In such cases, the court can impose a driving ban but does not have to.  Penalty points can be imposed on your driving licence as an alternative.

You can be required to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine to establish whether or not the alcohol in your body exceeds the prescribed limits.  Refusing to provide the sample will not help unless you give a reasonable explanation.  This is because the same penalties will apply as if you had provided a sample which showed you to be over the prescribed limit.  A reasonable explanation will usually require evidence from an expert or a doctor.

If you would like assistance with a drink-driving matter, please call our Criminal Defence team on 01494 450 171.