Within Thames Valley an average of 16 people each day are arrested for drink driving. Drink driving is not just an offence that happens around Christmas and New Year, it is happening throughout the year.

What are the limits?
In technical terms the current legal limits are: 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath; 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood; 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.
Each alcoholic drink is measured in units of 10 milligrams of alcohol. Drinks are allocated a unit measurement depending on their alcoholic content.
Often people can be putting themselves at risk by driving after consuming alcohol the night before and still having it in their system when they get behind the wheel.

On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol. However, this can vary from person to person, depending on:

  • your weight
  • whether you’re male or female
  • your age
  • how quickly or slowly your body turns food into energy (your metabolism)
  • your stress levels
  • how much food you have eaten
  • the type and strength of the alcohol
  • whether you’re taking medication and, if so, what type
  • It can also take longer if your liver isn’t working normally.

It’s simply far too difficult to tell exactly how much alcohol will take you over the limit. It’s much better and safer to lay off the drink completely if you do have to drive. You can still have a great night out without alcohol – You can even avoid the dreaded hangover the day after!

If you do want to drink you should take into account the alternatives:

  • Use a taxi – or even better share one!
  • Use public transport – you’ll even be doing your bit to help the environment!
  • Designated driver Arrange for someone who is not drinking to drive.

If you are convicted for drink drive offence you will:

  • Lose your licence for a minimum of one year
  • You may go to prison for up to six months
  • You may have to pay a fine of up to £5,000
  • You may lose your job (15 per cent of those convicted do)
  • Have a criminal record
  • Face exceptionally high insurance costs once you get your licence back
  • Have difficulty hiring a car within ten years of your conviction

For more information about the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol please see the DfT’s Think! Website.