How many units can you drink and drive in UK? – The Scottish sun



DRINK drivers cause thousands of deaths and serious injuries on UK roads every year.

But do you know how much is too much? Here’s how UK law rules on alcohol consumption before driving.


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If you are found guilty of drunk driving, you could face an increase in your car insurance premium

What is the drinking and driving limit in the UK?

The drink driving limit differs in the UK depending on the country you are in.

There is a rule for motorists in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and another rule for drivers in Scotland.

The boundaries for England, Wales and Northern Ireland are:

  • 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood
  • 35 micrograms per 100 milliliters of breath
  • 107 milligrams per 100 milliliters of urine.

In Scotland the limits are:

  • 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood
  • 22 micrograms per 100 milliliters of breath
  • 67 milligrams per 100 milliliters of urine.

The drink-driving limit in Scotland was reduced in 2014 and the stricter rules mean that one drink can make you forget.

You have to be careful of limits because alcohol affects people differently depending on your weight, age, gender, metabolism, type of alcohol you drink, what you have eaten, and your stress level.

Even if you are below the limit, having just one drink can still hurt your driving skills.

In fact, with just 10mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (one-eighth of the limit in England and Wales), you’re 37% more likely to be in a fatal accident than when you’re completely sober.

If you are driving the day after a big night out, be extremely careful, you may still have enough alcohol in your system to exceed the limit.

How can alcohol affect driving?

Your ability to drive safely with alcohol in your system is impaired by:

  • The brain takes longer to receive messages from the eye
  • Information processing becomes more difficult
  • Instructions to body muscles are delayed, resulting in slower reaction times
  • Blurry and double vision affects your ability to see things clearly while driving
  • You are more likely to take potentially dangerous risks because you are acting on impulses that you normally suppress

What can affect the drink driving limit?

There are several factors that can affect the amount of alcohol absorbed into your blood, which can cause you to exceed the limit.

These levels may depend on:

  • your weight, age, gender and metabolism (the rate at which your body uses energy)
  • the type and amount of alcohol you drink
  • what you ate recently
  • your stress level at the time

What is the penalty for drunk driving?

If you cause death while driving under the influence of alcohol, you could be jailed for up to 14 years.

Simply being caught over the limit can get you a driving ban, a fine of £ 2,500 and even a short jail term.

The actual sentence you incur belongs to the magistrates who hear your case and depends on your offense.

Here are the maximum penalties for impaired drivers:

  • Be in charge of a vehicle over the legal limit or unfit because of alcohol: three months’ imprisonment, up to £ 2,500 fine, possible driving ban
  • Driving or attempting to drive above the legal limit or unfit because of alcohol: six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a driving ban for at least one year (three years if you have been convicted twice in 10 years)
  • Refusal to provide a breath, blood or urine sample for analysis: six months imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a driving ban for at least one year
  • Cause death by reckless driving under the influence of alcohol: 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, a driving ban for at least two years and an extended driving test before your license is returned

Other issues include:

  • A significant increase in the cost of auto insurance
  • If you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your license
  • You may find it difficult to travel to countries like the United States

How many units of alcohol can you have before driving?

The legal limit for drinking and driving cannot be safely converted into a certain number of units, as it depends on a number of factors such as gender, body mass and how fast your body absorbs the alcohol.

As a rule of thumb, two pints of regular lager or two small glasses of wine would get you over the limit.

It takes about two hours for a pint to leave your system, although stronger beers and ciders take longer.

A large glass of wine (250 ml) is still in the blood for four hours, while a single scoop of a spirit takes only one hour.

You will need to add an hour for the alcohol to be absorbed into the system. So if you’ve got four pints and you stop drinking at midnight, you’re not safe to drive until at least 9 a.m.

If you have a bottle of wine, you have to wait until 1 p.m. the next day.

But that’s not a catch-all rule, because there are so many variables on how your body processes alcohol, each one has different limits.

The easiest way to ensure that you are safe behind the wheel and in compliance with the law is to not drink at all if you plan to drive.

You should also give yourself plenty of time the next day before you leave.

When was the first road breathalyzer test performed?

The first road breathalyzer was carried out 50 years ago, on October 8, 1967.

In the year the breathalyzer was introduced, 1,640 people were killed in crashes attributed to alcohol, but tax collectors protested to then-Transport Minister Barbara Castle that the new law could bankrupt them.

AA President Edmund King said: “The breathalyzer is associated with mandatory seat belts and the introduction of EuroNCAP crash tests as the three biggest road safety measures introduced in the last half. century.

“The breathalyzer test and subsequent campaigns have saved thousands of lives and helped make drink driving socially unacceptable.”

Which celebrities have been caught in the act of drunk driving?

Struggling TV star Ant McPartlin has been hit with one of the biggest drunk driving fines in the UK after injuring a four-year-old girl after crashing into her parents’ car in Richmond, London .

He was stung for £ 86,000 after pleading guilty to exceeding double the drinking and driving limit at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving – he then pleaded guilty to the offense.

Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher was banned from driving on September 4, 2017 for two years after admitting to driving a vehicle over the legal limit.

Liverpool ace Roberto Firmino was also banned from driving for 12 months in February 2017 after being caught on the wrong side of the road and above the legal alcohol limit.

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