The police, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and other organisations use endorsement codes to classify certain driving offences.
What is a DR10?
A DR10 relates to the offence of driving, or attempting to drive, with an alcohol level above the limit. This is an endorsement code which is used by both the police and the DVLA. Generally, this means that a person has been driving or attempting to drive while their blood alcohol limit level is above what is legal. If you are convicted of a DR10, you can expect to incur a minimum 12 month disqualification together with a fine, community order or prison sentence of up to 6 months. The level of alcohol detected in your system has a direct impact on the severity of the penalty imposed. You can use our drink driving sentencing calculator to give you a more specific idea of your penalty range.
If you are found guilty of driving or trying to drive whilst exceeding the legal alcohol limit, you will be issued a DR10 conviction. Operating a vehicle in this state poses a significant risk to yourself and others on the road, due to the impairment of your judgement while managing a car.
In the England and Wales, drink driving is classified as driving with more than 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100milliiliters of breath, 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 107 milligrams per 100 millilitres of urine. The limits are different in Scotland.
How many units of alcohol can you drink and drive?
Driving with alcohol in your system is always dangerous. The NHS states on its website that there is no safe way to calculate how much a person can drink and still remain below the legal alcohol limit as everyone metabolises and reacts to alcohol differently. How you react to alcohol depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Your weight
- Your age
- The amount of and type of food you’ve consumed
- The type of alcohol you’re drinking
- Your tiredness levels
- Your stress levels
- Your gender
Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your reactions times and vision, even if you are below the limit. It is recommended that if you need to drive, you simply do not drink any alcohol.
How long does a DR10 stay on your licence?
If you are convicted of a DR10 offence than it will stay on your driving licence for 11 years from the date of the conviction. If you have a driving conviction, you will have to declare them to your motor insurer. It is illegal to withhold this information when insuring your vehicle. If you do withhold this and try to make a claim on your vehicle insurance, then your claim could be invalid and your policy void.
How long does a DR10 stay on your criminal record?
You will only have a conviction placed on your criminal record if you have been found guilty of an imprisonable offence. In England and Wales, drink driving is an imprisonable offence, which can result in a six-month prison sentence. Even if you are not sent to prison and only receive a fine, the conviction will still go on your criminal record. After five years, the conviction will be spent.
What is a DR20?
A DR20 is a driving offence code for driving, or attempting to drive, while unfit through drink. The difference between a DR10 and a DR20 is that a DR10 is when a driver is above the legal limit, while a DR20 is given if you are considered unfit to drive through drink. This may mean that you are not strictly above the legal limit for alcohol in your system, but the law has found that you are not fit or safe to drive, due to the alcohol you have consumed.
Like a DR10, if you are convicted of a DR20 offence you will face a driving disqualification alongside a fine, a community order or a prison sentence.
How long does a DR20 stay on my licence?
Like a DR10, a DR20 will stay on your licence for 11 years, from the date of the conviction. Again, you will have to declare a DR20 to your insurers or any claim you may make is invalid. The conviction will appear on your criminal record, as it still is an imprisonable office and after five years the conviction will be spent.
What is a DR30?
A DR30 is the endorsement offence code for driving, or attempting to drive, then failing to supply a specimen for analysis when stopped by the police. This means that you have been suspected of drink driving, or driving under the influence of drugs, and you fail to provide a specimen for analysis (e.g. breath, blood or urine) without a reasonable excuse.
Failing to provide a specimen for analysis
If you are found guilty of failing to provide a specimen for analysis (DR30) then you can expect to be banned from driving alongside either a fine, community order or even up to 6 months imprisonment.
There are only certain circumstances that a judge will consider a ‘reasonable excuse’. Some examples are:
- A medical condition such as a respiratory issue that would affect your ability to provide: this would have to be backed up by substantial medical evidence; or
- A mental health condition such as panic or anxiety: again, this would need to be supported by medical evidence; or
- A genuine phobia of needles, if you are requested to give a blood sample. You would need to have a diagnosed condition as a starting point.
How long does drink driving stay on your criminal record?
In the UK, a drink-driving conviction typically remains on your driving licence as an endorsement for 11 years. However, the length of time that remains on your criminal record may vary depending on the severity and circumstances of the offence. For example, given that a drink-driving conviction gives rise to a mandatory driving ban, if the ban imposed lasts less than 5 years, it becomes a ‘spent conviction’ (i.e. it no longer shows on your basic criminal record) 5 years after you got it. However, if the ban lasts more than 5 years, it becomes spent on the date it ends.
If you are facing a drink driving conviction, then contact our specialist drink driving lawyers. We have years of experience with dealing with motoring convictions. Whatever the circumstances of your case, it is important to get the correct advice at every stage. At Stephensons, we have extensive experience of presenting mitigation to the court and helping our clients to achieve the best possible result in their case - even if that means keeping any sentence to a minimum. Contact us now on 01616 966 229 to discuss your options in confidence.