In the UK, an average of 3,000 people are seriously injured or killed in drink driving accidents each year. In fact, nearly one in six car accidents in the UK involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit. Additionally, around 200 deaths each year in the UK are the result of drug driving. Despite the fact new drug-driving laws took effect in 2015, intoxicated drivers continue to get behind the wheel and unfortunately, it is not always him or her who is injured or killed.
In the UK, there are very specific alcohol limits for drivers, which means that it is impossible to say how many alcoholic beverages you can drink and still be considered safe to drive. However, the limit is lower in Scotland than it is in the rest of the UK, so you may want to familiarise yourself with the limits if you are planning to travel to Scotland anytime in the near future.
It is important to understand that it is illegal to operate a vehicle in the UK if you are unfit to do so because you have taken illegal or legal drugs. This means that you can be arrested for drug driving even if you are taking a medication that has been prescribed to you if it impairs your ability to drive:- see Western Counselling rehab for further information on drug use, addiction and its dangers.
If You Are Pulled Over for Drink Driving or Drug Driving
You can be pulled over by a police officer in any part of the UK for any reason. You may be asked for your driving license, MOT certificate, and/ or insurance certificate. If you are unable to produce these documents, you are allowed 7 days to take them to the police station.
An officer may request that you take a breath test if they believe you may have been drinking, you have been involved in an accident, or you have committed a traffic offence. If you decline to take the breath test or are unable to give a sufficient sample, the officer may arrest you. If the officer believes you may be drug driving, he or she may perform a field impairment test. If you are unable to pass the test, you can be arrested.
Penalties Associated with Drink and/ or Drug Driving
Although the specific penalty will be determined by the magistrates who hear your case, you do run the risk of having your license taken away for 12 months. In addition, you face a period of 3 or more months’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine. If someone is killed while you are driving under the influence, you face up to 14 years’ imprisonment, at least a 2 year ban from driving, and an unlimited fine.
Today, there are so many alternatives to drink or drug driving depending on where you live, such as taking the tube, hailing a taxi, calling Uber, or even calling a friend or relative. If you are ever in a situation where you need a ride and have been drinking or using drugs, don’t forget your options. The life you say just might be your own.