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The 12 Myths of Drink Driving and the Consequences of a Conviction and Driving Ban

The 12 Myths of Drink Driving and the Consequences of a Conviction and Driving Ban

Caroline Dunne, road traffic and driving offences solicitor at IBB discusses the 12 commonly held myths associated with drink-driving.

Please find the transcript of the video below:

My name is Caroline Dunne and I am a solicitor in IBB Solicitors. The aim of today’s video is to dispel the twelve myths of drinking and driving during Christmas and the New Year period. We have divided this video into four sections.

  • What is the drink drive limit?
  • Can I drive safely the next day?
  • What to expect if stopped by the police.
  • The consequences of drink-driving conviction.

What is the drink driving limit

The legal limit for drinking and driving in the United Kingdom is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of the breath.

There are three commonly held myths in relation to these limits:

Myth no 1: It is safe to drink two alcoholic drinks.

There is no scientific evidence to back up this assumption; therefore it is not safe to assume that if you consume two alcoholic drinks it would be safe to drive.

Myth no 2: If you drink a large quantity of water at the end of the evening it will reduce the effects of alcohol.

Drinking a large quantity of water either at the end of the evening or interspersed with alcoholic drinks through the course of the evening, will still not ensure that you are below the drink-driving limits.

Myth no 3: I know my limits and I am fine to drive.

If you have a tolerance for alcohol, you will likely feel fine to drive, but you could still be above the drink-drive limits. There are also a lot of other factors that can affect the reading:

Is it safe to drive the following day?

Myth no 4: It is safe to drive the following morning.

Simply going to sleep will not be sufficient to eliminate a large quantity of alcohol from your body.

Myth no. 5: I have eaten a greasy breakfast and consumed coffee, therefore I will be safe to drive.

Feeling safe to drive and being below the drink-drive limit are not one and the same thing. Having breakfast and drinking coffee may make you feel better, but not necessarily make sure that you are under the drink-driving limit particularly if you have had a large quantity of alcohol the night before.

What to expect if you are stopped by the police.

Myth no. 6: You won’t be stopped by the police unless you are acting suspiciously.

The police undertake routine stop-checks particularly at Christmas. Equally, if you are involved in an accident through no fault of your own, you will be breathalysed by the police.

Myth no. 7: You are entitled to legal advice prior to providing specimen or breath.

If stopped by the police, you will ordinarily be asked to provide a roadside specimen. Should that prove positive and you are taken to a police station and asked to provide evidential specimen or breath. You are not entitled to delay in providing that specimen until you have pertained legal advice.

Myth no. 8: You can choose which specimen you provide to the police.

The police will ordinarily request a specimen of breath in the first instance. Only in very rare circumstances will the police request a specimen of blood. You are not entitled to request to provide a blood sample as an alternative to breath.

The consequences of a drink driving ban

Myth no. 9: I can avoid a driving ban.

Upon your conviction of drink-driving the court will impose a mandatory disqualification for a minimum period of 12 months. The higher the reading, the longer the disqualification will be. At the end of the disqualification period you will need to apply for your driving license to return to you. The DVLA can of its own volition require you to complete a medical before your license is returned.

Myth no. 10: Your employer or any future employer will never find out about the driving disqualification.

A drink-driving conviction is recorded on the police national computer and will show up on CRB and DBS checks.

Myth no. 11: There are no other financial implications other than disqualification from driving.

A Magistrates Court can impose an unlimited fine or could impose a prison sentence upon conviction of driving with excess alcohol. In addition there will be:

  • court costs
  • a victim surcharge
  • and an increase in insurance premiums once your driving license is returned.

Myth no. 12: A driving disqualification will not have any impact outside the United Kingdom.

If you need to apply for a travel visa, you will need to disclose a conviction of drink-driving. In addition, if you wish to hire a car on a drive abroad, it is frequently necessary to produce a full valid driving license in order to do so.

So those are the 12 myths that I have heard repeatedly over the past 20 years from clients. If you have any questions in relation to any of these matters please contact me Caroline Dunne at IBB Solicitors on 01895 207928 for immediate help or our 24-hour line on 0330 999 4999. Alternatively, email us at roadtraffic@ibblaw.co.uk or complete our online form.

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