Drink Driving

What is the drink drive legal limit?

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in Great Britain is:

  • 80mg (milligrammes) of alcohol per 100ml (millilitres) of blood (80mg/100ml), or,
  • 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, or;
  • 107mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine

Sarah, 19: Hungover; pulled

The limit has remained unchanged since its introduction by the Road Safety Act 1967, which also gave the police powers to breath-test drivers suspected of drink driving.

What are the current penalties?

For exceeding the legal alcohol limit for drivers:

  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • A fine of up to £5000
  • A minimum 12-month driving ban (3 years for a second offence within 10 years)

The Facts

If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash, than a driver who hasn’t been drinking.

Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. There is no fool-proof way of drinking and staying under the limit or of knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely.

Each person’s tolerance to alcohol depends on a range of factors including:

  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Metabolism
  • Current stress levels
  • Whether they have eaten recently
  • Amount of alcohol

So, the only safe option is not to drink alcohol if you plan to drive, and never offer an alcoholic drink to someone else who is intending to drive.

The Morning After

Most drivers don’t realise it, but if they’ve had a few drinks the night before, they could be over the limit the next morning. Many people are caught and convicted for drinking and driving the morning after a night out. You will still have alcohol in your bloodstream and you abilities will be impaired as a result.

For the facts about alcohol and drink driving visit the Drinkaware website.