As summer comes around and we all try and make the most of it by having barbeques whenever the weather permits and sit in beer gardens, the police take a significant interest in potential drink driving. Almost every police force has again announced a summer crackdown on drink driving, with many forces organising random roadside breathalyser test for motorists.
In Wales alone, over 20,000 people were stopped in one month and more than 400 people were found to be over the limit. While this shows that only around 2% of people are over the limit when stopped, many of them marginally, however marginal or not, if you are found to be driving over the legal limit, the absolute minimum you will face is a 12 month disqualification from driving as well as a hefty Court fine. This can range all the way up to a 6 month prison sentence for very high readings or repeat offenders.
More than a few of these cases are down to people underestimating the time it takes their body to break down the alcohol. Some people, who have been drinking earlier on in the day, or even the night before, automatically assume that given a few hours they are fine to drive. Often these drivers are not stopped by the police as without evidence of a poor standard of driving they are unlikely to pull you over, however in periods of increased attention, usually Christmas and summer, the number of motorists being pulled over significantly increases the chance of being caught.
In these difficult economic times where many people rely on their licence for their livelihood, the advice has to be simple; it’s not worth the risk of a criminal record and a driving disqualification for the extra drink at the pub.
By Alex Garner, motoring offences team