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Drinking and driving

November 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

There is no law that limits a driver to a certain number of drinks, such as 2 pints of beer or 1 glass of wine but there is a maximum amount of alcohol that you may have in your body  while driving or being in charge of a car. In law, being in charge of a car might include simply sitting in the seat of a parked car though each case will depend on its own circumstances.

Currently, a driver will be found guilty of drink-driving if he/she has more than 80 mg alcohol in 100 ml of blood. However, in 2013 the Scottish Government announced its intention  to reduce this limit to 50 mg alcohil in 100 ml of blood (a figure that would bring Scotland into line with much of the rest of Europe).  

The police will carry out a road side breath test to check whether a driver has more than the permitted amount of alcohol  in their body. Uniformed police officers can breathalyse anyone whom they reasonably suspect of driving with exces alcohol, who is involved in a traffic offence or road accident however minor, even if there is no suspicion of alcohol.

A uniformed police officer is also entitled to stop motorists at random in order to see whether there is a reasonable suspicion that they have consumed any alcohol. If there is, the officer can go on to ask the motorist to take a breath test. If the test is positive or if the driver refuses to take the test, the driver will be arrested and taken to a police station for further tests. 

A driver who fails to blow into the device properly or refues to take the test wil still lend up with a heavy fine and have their licence endorsed with 3 to 11 penalty points. Courts rarely accept that there are special circumstances for drivers being over the limit.

Disqualification from driving is is almost automatic. A drunken driver who causes someone's death  may be sent to prison for up to 14 years, will be disqualified from driving for at least 2 years and given mandatory penaltypoints  on their licence. 

Tags: drinking and driving amount of alcohol in blood road side breath test refusal to take breath test
Category: driving

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