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Drink driving limit.

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Andyvon | 03:19 Sun 15th Mar 2009 | Road rules
7 Answers
I'm 46 now and I'm a life-long teetoller. I nearly died when I was 15 by drinking two bottles of vodka in an hour and I haven't been interested in alcohol since. I'm certainly not one of these macho characters who feels the need to brag about how much they can drink.

In the past, I've had the occasional alcoholic drink pushed on me (usually at an Xmas do) by some irritating and aggressive boozy person who wouldn't accept I don't drink. I now just stand up for myself but on those occasions I felt obliged to have a few sips and then contrive to go to the loo and leave most of the drink on a nearby table. I'm so unused to alcohol that on the one or two occasions I consumed about half a pint of beer - I was drunk! It's been years now but I remember my head span, I couldn't walk straight or talk properly, and I wasn't sure what I was doing. And all that on about half a pint of beer!

My point is this. UK law says (so far as I understand it) that you can drive a vehicle with up to 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Over that and you are considered drunk and face prosecution for drink driving.
However, if I had half a pint of beer now I certainly wouldn't be able to drive a car safely - but I would still be under the legal blood/alcohol limit! I would almost certainly pass a police breath, blood and urine test!

My memories and dislike of alcohol remain and I have no time for drink drivers. I would never be so irresponsible to drive but I wondered where I stand if I did ever drive after feeling obliged to drink half a pint with someone? I know I wouldn't be able to walk straight - but I would also be well under the legal blood/alcohol limit.


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Basically, if you were under the limit they couldnt get you for DUI if they pulled you for a random check and no other reason. But if the reason they stopped you was erratic or dangerous driving as a result of your drinking, then they could get you for Driving without Due care and attention, dangerous driving etc regardless of the amount of alcohol.
Section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 deals with driving whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit (which is 35 micrograms in breath. The limit for blood is 80 and the limit in urine is 107).

However, Section 4 deals with driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. Here�s an extract:

Driving, or being in charge, when under influence of drink or drugs.

(1) A person who, when driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, is unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty of an offence.

(5) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be taken to be unfit to drive if his ability to drive properly is for the time being impaired.

There is no �limit� used to determine the level of fitness. So if you are impaired by drink even though you are under the limit for Section 5, you can be convicted under Section 4.

To a point you have answered your own Q If you know that you cannot take the drink because it effects you, well don't drink, You have a moral duty to other road & pedestrians & also to your own conscience.
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Thank you kira000 and New Judge. This was a question I had for some time but you have now cleared it up and explained it fully. The limit itself isn't the key point then, it's actually being under the influence which is the important factor.

I fully agree with you TWR. I would never drive if I felt my ability to do so safely was in any way impaired, by alcohol or anything else. In fact, I'm one of the many who agree with those countries who have a zero tolerance to drink driving and very long bans.
If there were many more around with your common sense Andyvon the UK would be a better & safer place. Good on you.
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yes as the judge says, section 4 covers it. For what it is worth I have often argued that the DD limit is far too high, I know aguy that drives regularly on 4-5 points and he's been tested and passed. You see you can drink a lot more that you think think, well not you Andy! For example if I drink 6 pints from 6 to 10 I've only actually had 4.

Anyway what ever possess you to drink 2 bottles of V? Did you drink a lot at 15 generally? How ill where you? must have been a stomach pump or you honked it up to survive that, no way the body could digest all that in a short space of time.

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