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Drink Driving

Over 1 in 6 of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the current legal drink/drive limit. The risk of being involved in an accident increases rapidly with the amount of alcohol consumed.

The current legal limit for driving in the UK is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath or 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood

It is impossible to judge the amount of alcohol that you are able to consume before you are over the limit.

Many motorists believe they are safe to drive even if they are below the current legal limit.

They are wrong:

  • Alcohol takes effect quickly but wears off slowly. It is absorbed into the bloodstream, affecting the brain and impairing driving ability
  • Even one drink will have an effect on your driving ability and judgment, starting with your judgment about whether you should have another drink
  • You may not be able to judge speed and distance accurately
  • Your ability to react may be severely affected, which will increase stopping distances
  • Your judgment of risk may be affected and you will have a tendency to be over confident and put yourself in danger

 

The only safe level of alcohol is NONE

 

The Consequences of Drinking and Driving

On average, 255 people in the UK fail a breath test every day. All that it takes for you to be stopped and breath tested is for the police to have a reasonable suspicion that you may have been drinking. If you are involved in a collision of any kind (even if its not your fault) you will be asked to take a breath test. 

 

You may be charged with:-

  • Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • Driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal limit or unfit through drink.
  • In charge of a vehicle whilst above the legal limit or unfit through drink.
  • Refusing to provide a specimen of blood or breath.

 

Penalties for the above offences are :-

  • 10 years imprisonment and a mandatory disqualification from driving of at least 2 years
  • 6 months imprisonment plus a fine of £5,000 and a mandatory disqualification from driving of at least 12 months (3 years automatic ban if convicted twice in 10 years)
  • 3 months imprisonment plus a fine of £2,000 and a mandatory disqualification from driving of at least 12 months
  • 6 months imprisonment plus a fine of £5,000 and a mandatory disqualification from driving of at least 12 months

 

Other consequences:- 

  • Criminal record
  • Possible loss of livelihood
  • Increased insurance cost
  • Extreme difficulty in hiring a car
  • Legal expenses
  • Loss of personal transport and increased travel expenses
  • Effect on family life
  • Living with the knowledge that you have caused death, injury or severe distress to innocent people
  • Being seriously injured or disabled yourself
  • Potential referral to an alcohol rehabilitation course
  • Possibly having to take your driving test again
  • Restriction on travel to some countries including the USA 

 

  The only safe option is not to drink and drive.

Bedford Borough Council Road Safety Team      

 telephone (01234) 228336

Email road.safety@bedford.gov.uk

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