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All drivers should be aware that it is illegal to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol in excess of the limits set down by law.  In Scotland, the legal alcohol limit is as follows:

  • 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 67 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.

Iain CorbettThe police have wide powers to enforce the law on drink driving, and can request a breath sample from any driver who has committed a road traffic offence or who has been involved in a crash  They can also request a breath sample from anyone they suspect has been drinking or taking drugs. 

The offences that a drink driver can be charged with include:

  • Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink
  • Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink

The penalties if found guilty of these offences are potentially severe.  It would be up to the court in each individual case what sentence is imposed.  
If found guilty of being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, the potential sentence could be:

  • 3 months in prison
  • up to £2,500 fine
  • a possible driving ban

If found guilty of driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, the potential sentence could be:

  • 6 months in prison
  • an unlimited fine
  • a driving ban for at least 12 months

If the driver refuses to provide a sample of breath, blood, or urine, this is an offence in its own right, and the penalties are the same as if found guilty of driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink.  

If the driver is charged with causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs and found guilty, the potential sentence could be:

  • 14 years in prison
  •  an unlimited fine
  •  a driving ban for at least 2 years
  • an extended driving test before being allowed to hold a driving licence

Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is highly unsafe and can have life changing consequences for drivers.  Don’t risk it.  

Blog by Iain Corbett

Road Safety Week - Sober

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