Drink and Drug Driving Offences
There are different form of offences relating to the saying Drink Driving, principal ones are:
driving with excess alcohol or drugs
attempting to drive with excess alcohol or drugs
being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol or drugs
driving or attempting to drive while unfit, and
being in charge of a motor vehicle while unfit
All of the offences are summary-only offences.
In the offence of driving with excess alcohol the prosecution must prove:
the defendant was driving
on a road or other public place
a motor vehicle
after consuming alcohol so that the proportion in their breath, blood or urine
exceeded the prescribed limits
The prosecution must prove that the proportion of alcohol in the defendant’s body exceeded the prescribed limits. Normally, specimens of the defendant’s breath are taken at the police station using a device approved by Home Secretary. But samples of urine or blood may also be taken if the circumstances set out in the RTA 1988 are satisfied. The prescribed limits vary depending on whether the samples taken are of breath, blood or urine.
The prescribed limits set out in the RTA 1988 are:
35 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath
80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, and
107 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine
The maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and/or six months’ imprisonment. The offence also carries obligatory endorsement of between three and 11 penalty points. Additionally, the defendant will face a mandatory period of disqualification for a minimum period of twelve months, in the absence of any special reasons. The defendant may also be given the opportunity by the court to participate in a rehabilitation course. The defendant does not have to accept the offer but if they do, they will be required to pay for the course and if successfully completed the court will reduce the period of disqualification by 25%.
David has an LL.B (Hons) degree in law. He was voted one of the UK’s most influential aspiring lawyers. He was also directly involved in the protection of workers’ rights as respected Union Rep for Usdaw, and he is the Non-Executive Legal Director for the Humber Taxi Association.
Question on Drink Driving
I was in the car park?
The term ‘road’ does not include a car park. However, a car park may fall into the definition of ‘public place’. The term ‘public place’ has been considered by the courts. Important questions in determining whether the place is a public place include:
whether members of the public have access to the area, or
whether the area is accessible only to a special class of people distinct from the general public who have some reason personal to them for their admittance.
Any dispute regarding what is a “road” or “public place” is for the tribunal of fact
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